..is that we can fight it as a nation. Within hours of confirmation of Nigeria’s first coronavirus case, prices of face masks and hand sanitizers grew leaps and bounds into ridiculous tags. Many have decried the country’s apparently poor measures (so they say) in preventing a possible entry of the fast spreading virus. We might have chosen to ignore the fact that coronavirus hasn’t exactly spared countries with governments who appear to have iron clad measures in place. It’s all in the news. More importantly, many seem to have forgotten that we have dealt with Ebola before as a country. Is this significant? Oh yes, it is.
It’s been some time however let’s refresh our fading memories. About 6 years ago, Nigeria had her first case of the Ebola virus and it did seem as though it would be mortality unprecedented. Today, Nigeria looks at this past and can proudly say that she dealt with this quite well. According to the WHO, Ebola would roughly result in 50 deaths out of a 100 people infected. This number could be as low as 25 or high as 90 out of 100 in best- and worst-case scenarios. It might interest you to know that Covid-19 can barely exceed 2 deaths out of 10 infected in worst case scenarios. Take some time to digest that information. It’s saying we’ve dealt with far worse before!
Now let’s do a brief exposition on coronavirus. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Covid-19 just happens to be a new strain of this previously known virus and current statistics show it to be the least deadly of three known severe forms. Available evidence today points to a transmission from animals to humans (zoonotic). However, this is probably only true for the first infection. It can be spread from person to person as we must all know by now. It is spread via ‘ infectious droplets’ released when an already infected person coughs or sneezes into the surrounding atmosphere. On this basis, the first rule of prevention is established. MAINTAIN A DISTANCE OF AT LEAST 5 FEET BETWEEN YOU AND A COUGHING OR SNEEZING INDIVIDUAL. The greater the distance, the less likely the infectious droplets will get to you. After infection, symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath may appear within 1 to 14 days.
It’s another time to roll out the hand washing basins! Soap and water for thorough hand washing is needed. Handwashing should be done for 20 seconds for effectiveness. The use of hand sanitizers presupposes that you have clean hands hence wash your hands first! Avoid touching your face. Ensure to cough or sneeze into tissue paper and discard immediately. Stay home if you feel unwell. Together, let’s halt the spread of coronavirus.