Grappling with coronavirus, the bane of a new decade

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Photo of Lyu Jun, a Chinese doctor–who later died– saying goodbye to his wife before going to the Wuhan province to treat Coronavirus patients. Source: Historiumpodcast

By Akuma Victor

Coronavirus is currently, the world’s greatest health threat of the decade with several victims already death.

The ravaging effect of the epidemic informed its recent declaration by World Health Organisation (WHO) as a global emergency.

“For all of these reasons, I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of,” WHO Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, announced on January 30.

The number of victims are bound to double in the coming few weeks if proper medical measures are not taken, as the virus continues to spread beyond its town of origin {Wuhan, China}, to other parts of the country and other nations.

Several nations are already placing embargos on their aircrafts that is linked with China, as well as withdrawing their citizens in the said country.

It is rather disheartening that the world is starting a new decade with such deadly health threat. Now the question is, what should be done to avoid contracting this virus?

We in Africa might be less concerned about this but the truth remains that any health challenge bringing the world to its knees certainly has implications in all continents and countries of the world. Remember Africa has close bilateral and multi-lateral ties with China, so there are equally chances of the virus getting down to Africa. After all, Chinese experts help us out in several ways in our individual economies.

So what are the symptoms of this virus? Two of the seven coronaviruses that infect humans, SARS and MERS, can cause severe pneumonia and even death in 10 out of more than 30 percent of cases, but others lead to milder symptoms, like a common cold.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most patients right now start with a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. There’s also evidence of asymptomatic cases, that is people who don’t show early symptoms but are carriers.

Other means by which this virus can be transferred from person to person is through exposure to droplets from coughing or sneezing.

Report has it that when infected persons cough or sneeze, they let out a spray, and if these droplets reach the nose, eyes, or mouth of another person, they can pass on the virus.

So what are the preventive measures to follow in order not to contract this virus?

It is true that many prefer nose masks in towns in China. In fact, reports allege that most shops in Wuhan and other neighbouring towns are currently running short of nose masks, that is to say that it is the safest method for them so far. But in as much as this method is advisable, we must not also neglect proper hygiene.

Constant washing of hands before and after meal has also proven to be helpful to a great extent. To this effect, we must wash our hands more frequently and avoid putting dirty hands in our mouths, eyes and every other sensitive parts of our body.

Care should also be given to the kind of animals we consume. We must avoid animals like Bats and dogs. For some of us in Africa, avoiding dog meat might be impossible but if we must take it, we must apply precaution.

Doing this as well as avoiding staying too close to persons sneezing and coughing, coupled with the face masking will certainly go a long way in keeping us out of this deadly virus.

We must continue to do the much we can until health experts find a lasting solution to this problem.

We should also continue to pray for our friends in China and those in other affected countries of the world.

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