It continues to strike in the African continent. But what do we really know so far about Coronavirus?
By the time this article was published, there were 6 African countries that had confirmed Coronavirus cases. These are Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Senegal.
Forget the rumours and the scaremongering going on social media. Kenya does not have a confirmed case of the virus. If you would like to keep yourself updated on where Coronavirus has been confirmed, here is the place to go.
It is Complicated
The new coronavirus belongs to a family of viruses which can be around surfaces for about 4 days at room temperature. This is according to a scientific paper published last week.
This virus is different from the coronavirus that was behind the SARS outbreak in 2003 in that it remained on dry surfaces for about six days.
WHO Director-General Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebyeyesus says “We are in uncharted territory. We have never before seen a respiratory pathogen that is capable of community transmission, but which can also be contained with the right measures.”
Keyword there is the right measures that you are capable of.
You need not panic. Really. DON’T PANIC! Out of the 90,853 confirmed cases so far, there have been 3,116 reported deaths. Mainly, those who have succumbed had pre-existing health conditions or basically compromised immune systems.
If you must panic, stick to fact-based panic. That will ensure that you do the right thing to prevent or manage.
The Coronavirus Checklist
Guys. Let’s follow the advice in the facts. This is what WHO is advising,
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
Lest we forget, there are Kenyan students still holed up in Wuhan, China. That is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. Let’s not forget them.