Unique types of coronavirus such as SARS and MERS have caused disease outbreaks, in a few countries, in recent years.
The latest unique coronavirus making its way around the world now, covid-19, originated in China in December 2019. By the end of February 2020, over 85,000 infections have been reported worldwide, mostly in China, and some deaths have occurred. The person diagnosed in Lagos a few days ago was the first case in Nigeria. Covid-19 was brought into Nigeria from Italy, the most affected country in Europe. Only a few other cases have been diagnosed in Africa, and the vast majority of countries in Africa have not reported a single case as at the end of February 2020.
Measures that you can take to lower the risk of catching any virus that can cause common cold, flu, or pneumonia, are also effective for avoiding covid-19. These tips are simple to follow:
· Think about the last time someone with a bad cold started coughing or sneezing right into your face or close to you. You likely stepped back and asked them to cover their mouth when coughing. These actions, which probably saved you from catching the person’s cold, are effective for covid-19 too.
· Hand washing? Well, that is one thing we all need to do more of, and properly, whenever we have touched a sick person or surfaces that may be contaminated with viruses. When washing your hands, use soap and water, and scrub thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, which is about the length of time it takes to hum the song “Happy Birthday To You” twice.
· Another easy-to-remember advice is to avoid touching MEN, that is- avoid touching your Mouth, Eyes and Nose with unclean or infected hands. Kudos to the originator of this advice!
· If you are sick with fever or have symptoms of a cold including coughing, you should “be your brother’s keeper” by doing the following:
· avoid going to places where you will inevitably come into contact with a lot of people such as places of worship, parties, market, work or school
· limit contact with other members of your household and avoid sharing things and utensils until you are well
· tell people you come in contact with that you are sick and tell them not to come too close to you
· remember that most cold-like infections get better on their own, so rest well and avoid unnecessary antibiotics
· wash your hands frequently
· if you are feeling quite unwell and must go to the clinic or hospital, minimize the risk of spreading the infection to other patients or healthcare providers. Any illness that you have now is unlikely to be from covid-19. However, if you have a risk of exposure to covid-19 such as recent international travel or contact with someone diagnosed with covid-19, tell the healthcare team right away, preferably before you show up at the clinic or hospital. This will ensure that procedures to limit infection spread are followed fully by the healthcare center. If you have access to a face mask, wear one when going to the health center.
Above all, none of us should panic. The risk of getting infected with covid-19 is still quite low, but must not be ignored. By taking the measures above and being each other’s keeper, we can conquer Covid-19, as we like to say at CUTICA Health, Together! Meanwhile, scientists are working hard to find effective treatment for covid-19 and a vaccine that can prevent it.