The coronavirus has made headlines in the recent weeks and the world is currently grappling with its devastating effect that has caused tension globally.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s and are approximately seven of them that can infect people including the current one 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that the world is currently coping with. Other recent cases include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that have hit headlines in the recent past.
What is Coronavirus?
The coronavirus receives its name from the halo or crown (corona) that is seen when the virus is viewed by an electron microscope. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. The virus has originated from Wuhan City in the seafood market, where wildlife is sold. In human beings, the virus infects the respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract and are also known to infect cattle, pigs, birds, dogs, cats and rodents.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, Coronavirus infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death as has been reported in China.
How is it transmitted?
According to media reports globally, most of the early reported cases had contact with seafood and live animal market in Wuhan City, suggesting an animal source of the outbreak. However, most cases are now being spread from person to person by droplets when coughing, shaking hands or coming into body contact with the virus, especially in public places.
How to prevent spread.
- Washing of hands is the most recommended method of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. It is recommended that we wash our hands regularly with water and soap or alternatively with an alcohol-based hand wash. Washing our hands regularly kills the virus if it is in our hands as recommended by WHO.
- To protect yourself, use hand wash and sanitizers that you can purchase and use during key recommended moments such as while travelling, after touching public objects and spaces such as ATMs, elevators etc, and after petting animals. MYDAWA has a wide range of affordable hand wash and sanitizers such as Dettol, Hobby, Reeves and more that can be delivered at your doorstep.
- Avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing is another way of preventing the spread of the virus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this is termed as maintaining social distance which should be at least 1-metre distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
- Covering our mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing is a way in which we can prevent the spread of this virus especially when someone is infected with a respiratory disease like the coronavirus. Coughs and sneezes transmit droplets containing the virus and if you are too close, you can breathe in the virus and get infected.
- We are also advised to thoroughly cook all animal products such as meat and eggs as it is vital in curtailing the spread of the virus.
- Boosting your immune system. Boosting one’s immune system with vitamin D, Vitamin C and zinc decrease the risk of catching a flu and flu-related illness. If not taken in their natural form, one can purchase these immune boosters from MYDAWA so as to add these vital nutrients into the body for a healthy self.
Who is at risk of getting the virus?
We are all at risk but people within the epicentre of the virus in China are at a greater risk of contracting the virus. There are high chances of people who have travelled to China or living and working closely with people who have been to China. Health workers caring for persons who are sick with the virus are also at higher risk.3