The first case of COVID19, which is the illness caused by this new strain of coronavirus (now referred to as SARS – CoV-2) has been confirmed in Lagos, Nigeria. The patient is reported to be stable and is currently being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
In light of the above, here is some additional information about the COVID 19 virus and some precautionary measures.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe forms of respiratory distress. The COVID-19 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties and in rare cases, respiratory distress.
The virus is spread mainly from person to person;
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- While it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Preventative measures against the virus include;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water when hands are visibly dirty
If you do feel sick;
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
- Wear a face mask
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- Clean ‘high touch’ surfaces such as laptops, tabletops etc regularly with disinfectant
As we increase our awareness by educating ourselves about this virus, this is a friendly reminder that current data shows that COVID-19 is not fatal for the majority of people that contract it. Please continue to educate yourself about new developments from reputable sources (see suggested links below), but avoid panicking and employ the preventative measures at all times.