CORONA VIRUS – DEATH BY SNEEZE
The world is under siege. From South America to Asia from the Arctic region to Africa no where has been free from the scourge of one of the most Violently spreading and devastating Virus the world has had to contend with Covid 19 (Corona Virus). Originally from Wuhan, China, it has begun to envelope the world country by country and not even the most powerful ones can lay claim to any kind of success so far in containing it. In Italy alone 4,825 people have died from the virus,3,277 in China, 579 in USA,123 IN Germany and 21 in Turkey. Overall 16,550 people have passed away and the figures are climbing.
Over here in Nigeria we have suddenly woken from our initial slumber due in part to self deceit that we are in some way immune to the pandemic.The first Covid-19 death in Nigeria has been recorded,” the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) describing the victim as a 67-year-old man who had recently returned to Nigeria following medical treatment in the UK. He had pre-existing medical conditions including cancer and diabetes.
The NCDC said it had confirmed five new cases of coronavirus on Monday bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 36 with 25 cases in the economic capital Lagos, a megacity of some 20 million people. Worrying times as these 36 will have had some contact with people and surfaces over a non specific time frame. so what is this covid-19 anyway?
Covid 19 a.k.a Corona Virus started in late 2019 as a cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause. The cause of the pneumonia was found to be a new virus – severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or Sars-CoV-2. The illness caused by the virus is Covid-19.
Now declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the majority of people who contract Covid-19 suffer only mild, cold-like symptoms.
WHO adds that about 80% of people with Covid-19 recover without needing any specialist treatment. Only about one person in six becomes seriously ill “and develops difficulty breathing”.
So how can Covid-19 develop into a more serious and what does that do to our lungs and the rest of our body?
Research reveals almost all serious consequences of Covid-19 feature pneumonia.
people who catch Covid-19 can be placed into four broad categories.
The least serious are those people who are “sub-clinical” and who have the virus but have no symptoms.
Next are those who get an infection in the upper respiratory tract, which, Wilson says, “means a person has a fever and a cough and maybe milder symptoms like headache or conjunctivitis”.
He says: “Those people with minor symptoms are still able to transmit the virus but may not be aware of it.”Coronaviruses are a family of so-called “enveloped Viruses”. This means they are coated in an oily layer, known as a lipid bilayer, studded with proteins that stick out like spikes of a crown, helping to give them their name – corona is ancient Greek for crown.
Research on other enveloped viruses suggests that this oily coat makes the viruses more susceptible to heat than those that do not have one. In colder conditions, the oily coat hardens into a rubber-like state, much like fat from cooked meat will harden as it cools, to protect the virus for longer when it is outside the body. So safe to say it doesn’t like Heat then..
Ways to fight it?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Simple steps to protect yourself
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. Self Isolate
Take steps to protect others
Stay home if you’re sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Prevention in this part of the world will always be better than cure. With our poor access to Testing Kits it may well be late before any treatment can get to an infected person. so keep safe and stay alive