The Nigerian Ministry of Health just confirmed the first case of the Coronavirus in Sub-Saharan Africa.
An Italian citizen, working in Nigeria who just returned to Lagos from Milan on February 25th, is the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Nigeria. “The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” the ministry said in a statement. “We have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient, since he entered Nigeria,” the ministry added, urging citizens not to panic. “Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic,” it said.
What Is The Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are;
- Fever, tiredness, and dry cough
- Aches and pains
- Nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Did You know?
Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets coronavirus becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. About 2% of people with the disease have died. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
How The Coronavirus Spreads
People can catch the coronavirus from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Make use of Telemedicine services in Nigeria to consult with a Doctor.
- Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow. When you’re done, throw the tissue in the dustbin
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold like symptoms such as coughing and sneezing
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Stay home when you are sick
- Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
- No unprotected contact with live, wild or farm animals.
Can The Coronavirus Be Caught From A Person Who Has No Symptoms?
The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching the coronavirus from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with the disease experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch it from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of the coronavirus.
What To Do If You Have Symptoms
Stay home except to get medical care
As much as possible, separate yourself from other people in your home and use a separate bathroom
wash your hands regularly
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze. Throw the used tissue in the dustbin and wash your hands immediately
Seek medical attention but first call ahead and tell them your symptoms. This will help the hospital take steps from keeping other people infected
If you have any questions about this deadly virus, speak with our doctors by downloading the Health Connect 24×7 mobile app.⠀
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