News Analysis

Sensitizing the Public on Coronavirus

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, belongs to the family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats and bats.

This virus can be transmitted from animals to human beings and can infect both.

 Coronavirus was first identified in the 1960s but no one knows where it originated from. The name was derived from their crown-like shape.

COVID-19 causes infection in the nose, sinuses or upper throat, it also causes upper respiratory infection.

The symptoms are stuffy nose, cough and sore throat.

 The virus spreads the same way like every other cold-causing viruses through an infected person’s sneezing, by touching an infected person’s hand or face, or touching things like door-nobs that had been touched by an infected person.

Researchers say the virus is like normal flu that can spread during its incubation period and blow out symptoms similar to normal flu.

COVID-19 was discovered from illegally traded wildlife at a seafood market in Wuhan, China and has spread to twenty-five countries of the world.

According to reports, the virus has killed over two thousand eight hundred people worldwide, the majority of which are in China, and infected more than eighty-three thousand people since the latest outbreak.

Close to sixty million people remain under lockdown in china, with three cities reporting over a thousand confirmed cases.

Different cases have also been reported in several other countries including Australia, France, Japan, Thailand and the United States.

Nigeria recorded its first case of coronavirus after an Italian national tested positive to the virus.

Nigeria is the third reported case of coronavirus in Africa after Egypt and Algeria 

As part of the measures to curtail the spread, the Federal Ministry of Health has been strengthening measures to ensure the outbreak in the country is controlled and contained.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has activated its national emergency operations centre and will work closely with Lagos State Health Authorities to respond to the case and implement firm control measures.

The virus is common during the cold season, but anyone can come down with a coronavirus infection at any time.

 The infection can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, including people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.

There are no specific treatments for coronavirus and there is no vaccine that can protect people against the virus.

People infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily, but it can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses.

To fight the spread of this virus, researchers and clinicians need to quickly develop effective drug treatments and vaccines.

It is necessary that Nigerians should take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families.

 There should be sensitization on the need to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Government advise that it is necessary to maintain about five feet distance between anyone who is coughing or sneezing and an uninfected person.

 Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in-crowd.

Government should ensure that health centers and hospitals are well equipped and functional.

Airport officials should make sure all travellers are well screened before entering the country.

Damilola Adewale

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