Coronavirus Disease: Facts and Preventive measures
Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronaviruses that was discovered in 2019. Coronaviruses consist of a large range of viruses that cause common cold to serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS-CoV). Although SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels, this is the first time this strain (COVID-19) was discovered in humans.
Coronaviruses are zootonic meaning it is transmitted through people and animals. The virus can travel through the air, enveloped in tiny respiratory droplets that are produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. For more information, go here to get live updates of the virus.
Before the first COVID-19 patient was identified in Kenya, there were rumors going around claiming that the virus could not be transmitted in hot and humid climates. This is not the case as clearly stated by the World Health Organization(WHO) in the graphic above. Later on there were rumors that the virus strain could be killed by cold weather. This myth was also debunked. The virus can affect individuals living in both high and low temperatures. See countries and number of people affected here.
Although older people with pre-existing medical conditions seem to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill than younger people, the WHO advises everyone to be wary of the disease as the young can easily transmit the virus to the elderly.
Maintain social distancing
WHO advises people to maintain a distance of 1meter(3 feet) from anyone who is coughing or sneezing as this prevents the spread of the virus. This one is gonna be a little difficult for matatu conductors to implement, it is a good thing all events and social gatherings have been cancelled to minimize social interaction.
Wash your hands frequently Washing hands thoroughly with water and soap eliminates the lipid layer of the coronaviruses which is the outer most layer. An alternative to that is using hand sanitizer that is 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your face We place our hands on a multitude of surfaces that may contain various viruses. Contaminated hands can easily transfer viruses to our eyes, nose and mouth and into our bodies to make us sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Develop good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue which is to be discarded immediately after use. This will help prevent the spread of not only coronavirus but also the common cold and flu.
Seek medical care early It is advisable to monitor yourself closely and seek medical help when you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. These are the main symptoms of coronavirus disease and there's a higher chance of quick recovery if you visit a doctor as soon as possible.
I hope you have been adequately informed by this article. For more information, kindly check here for daily updates.