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Educating the public about Coronavirus Infection

by | Feb 2, 2020 | ARTICLES, HEALTH EDUCATION | 0 comments

Medical experts wearing protective mouth mask as they search for cure for coronavirus epidemic.

A medical expert wearing protective mouth masks as they search for a cure for the coronavirus epidemic. Image credit Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Educating the public about coronavirus infection (COVID-19)| What everyone needs to know about coronavirus | How to protect yourself to avoid getting the infection

 

  • Brief Overview

  • What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • How coronavirus infection began (The origin of coronavirus)

  • Coronavirus Infection Rate

  • Mode of Transmission

  • People who are more vulnerable than others to contract Coronavirus infection

  • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

  • Precautionary Measures at the National Level

  • Preventive Measures at Institutional and Individual Levels

 

Brief Overview

Another epidemic is here, 17 years after the outbreak of SARS and 5 years after MERS. Knowing how devastating such an epidemic can be international if not contained, the whole world is indeed in a fearful and panicky situation, even though The WHO at first categorized it as an emergency for China now has become a global health emergency as death toll hits 259. It is quite obvious that due to globalization, the world economy relating to tourism, trade, manufacturing, just to mention but a few would be adversely affected and not just human lives.

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

 

Official names have been announced for Coronavirus disease – COVID-19. The disease was previously described as 2019-nCoV – 2019 being the discovery year, n stands for new and CoV stands for coronavirus. The official names are

Disease: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Virus: Severe Acute RespiratorySyndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2)

Coronaviruses are named after their form with series of circular spikes made of proteins, resulting in a crown-like appearance. They can cause colds and flu just like many other viruses.

A newly developed version of COVID-19 can result in more serious illnesses, some of which can be deadly to older people or those with weakened immune systems.

How coronavirus infection began (The origin of coronavirus)

A report stated that the endemic started when a 61-year old man bought contaminated meat at an outdoor market for dinner, ate it, got ill and died but not without infecting others with the virus. 2019-nCoV first appeared at the Huanan Seafood Market on 12th December 2019 in Wuhan city about 700 miles south of Beijing, China city. The man was a regular customer of the Huanan market.

Huanan Seafood Market was popularly known as a wet outdoor market, one of a series of shops selling fish and meat, some of it from wildlife. They are addressed as wet markets for the fact that sellers slaughter and cut up animals and fish while customers wait.

Doubting the market theory, another report suggested the outbreak started earlier than December.

Coronavirus outbreak possibly came from a virus that originated in bats and another animal and then transformed to be able to infect humans similar to SARS that originated from a fruit bat that was transmitted to civet cats and then eaten as food.

Again, some bats are now uncontained because of development encroaches on their natural habitats.

Bats’ evolution has made them become carriers of these diseases without actually getting sick. She thinks they, as reservoirs of viruses, pass around these viruses to each other because they live in such large colonies in relatively small quarters.

Coronavirus Infection Rate

The fatality rate for 2019-nCoV is at 2.4%. Most coronavirus cases reported to date so far can be said to be milder The WHO said most coronavirus cases reported to date “have been milder as compared with SARS and MERS, having about 20% of those infected experience severe illness.

Mode of Transmission

Coronaviruses are found in a variety of animals. The virus can be spread from animals to humans, and from humans to humans (changes and infects other humans). Human-to-human transmission in a given number of countries has been confirmed by health professionals.

Cases of infection have been confirmed in the U.S., Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

People who are more vulnerable than others to contract Coronavirus infection

Elderly and people who are sick or with health conditions are most vulnerable to be infected with the coronavirus. Also, people are lack personal hygiene.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Common infection signs include fever, cough, shortened breath and difficulties in breathing; the appearance of symptoms before or after virus transmission is yet to be ascertained. If the infection worsens, it can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), kidney failure or even death.

Precautionary Measures at the National Level

There should be movement restriction and lockdown. As the number of infection rises, city and town residents are expected to remain where they are even those who have travelled to other places outside their residence.

In any city or town where the infection has been recorded, public means of transportation – airports, railway stations, road and waterways should be restricted depending on the extent of the spread or infection rate. Residents should wear protective clothing against infection.

Governments should intervene by helping hospitals should brace up for the emergency through the ministries of health and have desired public orientation to that effect.

Countries are expected to thoroughly screen travellers who are returning home from abroad and they may be quarantined for a while.

Governments, as an environmental protection policy, should endeavour to contain bats and keep slaughterhouses clean.

Preventive Measures at Institutional and Individual Levels

There is no vaccine to cure coronavirus for now though researches are on-going with the hope of finding a vaccine. Hong Kong might already have a vaccine developed but needed months to test it on animals and at least a year to carry out clinical trials on humans.

Doctors can manage it by treating the symptoms and health-related effects. It is a new infection so medical experts are still learning more about the virus. However, personal hygiene and isolations are crucial to coronavirus infection prevention. Here are the tips you need to be safe.

  • Drink plenty of water always
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Avoid having close contact with people who are sick
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow but not your palms or use a tissue to cover it, and throw the tissue away
  • Clean and disinfect often touched objects and surfaces

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Author

Written by Ekene Ifechukwu

Ekene Ifechukwu is an education writer. He has over 7 years of experience in teaching and tutoring. He has taught in primary and secondary schools. He has affection for training children and young people. He aims at improving other people's lives through education.

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