COVID-19 is a pandemic disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) which started in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Cases have been recorded in more than 200 countries and regions around the world (49 in Africa). The origin is not yet known but it is predicted to be a spillover from animals similar to other coronavirus diseases like MERS and SARS which were from camel and civet cat respectively. More than 5,856 cases; 201 deaths, 430 recoveries have been recorded in Africa (1st April, 2020) while there are 884,160 cases around the globe. It is transmitted as droplets and routes of transmission include nose and mouth while the lungs are its primary site of infection. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat and rarely diarrhea and loss of smell.
There are lots of misinformation and rumours about the best way to prevent this infection which may be a greater threat than the infection itself. The following are things to note about COVID-19
DO NOT SPREAD FAKE NEWS – Confirm any information from reliable sources like authorized agencies e.g WHO; recognized TV stations; newspaper and others or healthcare workers.
WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY – Wash your hands with soap and water following WHO guidelines after touching any surface or someone. Apply alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) after washing your hands although applying it without washing hands also suffices.
STAY AT HOME OR MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING – It is evident that coronavirus does not move but men do. Therefore, staying indoor prevents the spread as much as possible and probably the best measure to prevent being infected. And if there is need to go out, keep a distance of about 3ft (1m) away from people
DO NOT BELIEVE MYTHS – the following are wrong
- it is a disease of the rich
- it is a punishment for corrupt leaders
- Africans are immune to it
- it does not survive well in the tropics due to high temperature
- drinking alcohol, gin, water will prevent it. (PS: Alcohol suppresses immune system thereby worsen outcome if eventually infected)
- Ginger, garlic, lemon, lime, chloroquine, palm oil, etc can cure it. (PS: cure for coronavirus has not been discovered although researches are still going on)
- it is a genetically engineered virus (PS: there is no evidence to support this and this kind of thought can lead to crisis or even war)
DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE – It is necessary to reduce the number of times our hands have contact with face to minimum times possible.
DO NOT WEAR GLOVES – Wearing gloves give a sense of security and an individual carelessly have contact with an infected person or surface. The droplet sticks better to the glove and can be transmitted to the airway when one touches his face with the infected glove. Health workers use gloves while attending to patients and dispose immediately after.
DO NOT STAY IDLE/LONELY – Staying idle may result in depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses and also a waste of precious time. Learn new skills or develop yourself. It is also a great opportunity to keep in touch with loved ones and enjoy a memorable moment together with family.
EAT GOOD FOOD – Balanced diet will help improve the body’s immune system especially diets that contain more fruits and vegetables and less fat.
SNEEZE AND COUGH TO YOUR ELBOW OR SINGLE USED TISSUE – it is necessary to wear a nose mask if you have any symptoms of flu or work or live in high-risk areas like a hospital.
REPORT TO NECESSARY AUTHORITY IN EVENT OF ANY SYMPTOMS – Adopt self-quarantine if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have contact with an infected person until medical intervention is provided.
NOTE: COVID-19 did not eradicate other illnesses therefore it is necessary to live healthily. Always visit our website to read about how to stay healthy during and after this pandemic.
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