As days go by, the world is being thrown in further turmoil as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – which has just recently been declared a pandemic by World Health Organization (W.H.O) – continues to pose a great threat to humanity.
Several parts of the world have been placed on complete lockdown, with day-to-day activities being put on hold in a bid to contain the spread of this deadly virus. As of March 18, 2020, at least 7,989 people have died of Coronavirus worldwide and more than 198,718 confirmed cases.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause illnesses like common cold and more severe diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Also known as COVID-19, the Coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. The COVID-19 disease has since spread across the world, with over 50 countries affected by this deadly virus.
How is Coronavirus Transmitted?
Coronavirus is mainly spread from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another within about 6 feet; through 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.
Contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
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.
How is Coronavirus affecting the world?
Italy is the most affected area outside China with 31,506 confirmed cases and 2,503 deaths recorded as of March 18, 2020, raising the death toll to 4.25% of individuals confirmed to have the virus, the highest rate in the world. The UK has recorded 1,950 confirmed cases and 71 deaths as of March 18, 2020, and like most countries, has now placed the entire country on lockdown with the hope that it would help reduce the rate at which the virus is spreading. The Gulf region has recorded nearly 1,000 COVID-19 cases across the six GCC nations so far; and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman have taken drastic measures to combat the pandemic.
Most countries across the globe, including GCC countries, have ordered the closure of all schools, clubs, tourist centers, places of worship, shopping malls, gyms and many more. The only shops allowed in operate are food houses and pharmacies. Other countries like Spain, Portugal, Austria, and many more, have also adopted the same method to contain the outbreak which is causing the world a very serious problem.
China, which is the country the disease originated from has sealed off Wuhan and placed travel restrictions to and from other cities, with the lockdown affecting about 60 million people. Sport actions have either been temporarily suspended or postponed, at least, until next month after several sport people tested positive for the virus including Arsenal’s head coach, Mikel Arteta.
International airlines have also cancelled flights and while some countries are still allowing entries, some have banned non-citizens from entering their territories.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
A huge percentage of infected people usually show symptoms within five to six days after contracting the disease. However, infected people can also be asymptomatic – they won’t display any symptoms despite the virus running in their systems. English actor, Idris Elba tested positive without any symptoms, after coming in contact with Canadian PM’s wife Sophie Trudeau who contracted the virus.
According to World Health Organization, the following are the symptoms one should look out for when one comes in contact with an infected case.
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
The disease can also lead to more severe cases including pneumonia, multiple organ failure and death.
Who is at risk of contracting Coronavirus?
Based on the facts gathered about Coronavirus, people who are at most risk of being seriously infected are;
- People with weakened immune systems (like those who live with underlying illnesses such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses).
- People who have recently been in a highly affected country like China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea.
- People who have been in close contact with confirmed case(s) of COVID-19.
- People who are 60 years of age and above,
What are the best ways to prevent Coronavirus?
The best preventive measure for this deadly disease is to limit exposure. However, health officials have advised to take the following steps to help prevent the spread of the virus and more importantly, oneself;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth with your elbow when you sneeze or cough, and immediately dispose any tissues used when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands regularly with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces with disinfectant.
- Stay at home when you’re sick.
How is Coronavirus treated?
At the moment, there is no specific antiviral treatment for Coronavirus, although there have been speculations that different vaccines are being worked on and once they confirm their effectiveness, they will be released to the general public. However, the common colds which are part of the symptoms shown by infected people can be treated.
Many people have recovered from the symptoms of this disease and that’s to show that with a very healthy immune system will battle this disease.