Following the confirmation of coronavirus in Nigeria, here are 10 steps you should take to stay safe.
What Is Coronaviruse?Coronaviruses are types of viruses that typically affect the respiratory tracts of birds and mammals, including humans. Doctors associate them with the common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and they can also affect the gut. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency over a new coronavirus, which causes an illness officially known as COVID-19 that has killed more than 2,800 people worldwide. How Do People Get Infected?Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is most often spread from person to person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it . People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic . Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
10 Simple Ways To Protect Yourself and Family From Coronavirus The World Health organization and other health agencies recommend some basic protective measures against the new coronavirus which include:
1. Washing your hands frequentlyRegularly and thoroughly clean 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.
2. Maintain social distancingMaintain 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 virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouthWhy? [/b]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.
4. Practice respiratory hygieneMake 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. A face mask will provide an additional layer of protection especially in public. [b]Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
5. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early 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 spread of viruses and other infections.
6. Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare providerStay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading
7. Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
8. If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers. Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
9. Avoid panic and ignore text, Whatsapp messages or social media post promoting uncertified local concoctions as remedy, cure or prevention for corona virus. Why? Such messages and broadcast have been shown to kill more people than the virus itself as witnessed in Nigeria during the Ebola salt and water hoax.
10. As much as possible avoid parties, crowded religious, ceremonial and official gathering especially in areas with confirmed cases also take additional measures to protect babies and children. Why? An infected South Korea woman who went to church was responsible for the corona Carnage in the country . The so-called superspreader infected at least 37 people at her church with the new coronavirus, and dozens of additional worshippers are also showing symptoms of the disease. The 61-year-old woman attends the Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony in Daegu, South Korea, according to the international news outlet AFP. The city, located in the southern part of the country, is home to about 2.5 million people.
The woman, called “Patient 31” by Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, developed a fever on Feb. 10 and attended four church services before being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Written By Oche Joseph Otorkpa (Executive Director Public Health Nigeria and Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health UK)