For the past few weeks, the news has been dominated by the new coronavirus, which originated in China and has already caused over 100 casualties and affected over 6,000 patients. Find out more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of coronavirus!
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Although the recent coronavirus outbreak is new, the coronavirus itself has been known for a long time as one of the leading causes of animal diseases. In fact, the world has first heard about the coronavirus and its deadly effect was in 2002 when two types of coronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) caused more than 1,500 deaths.
The recent outbreak of coronavirus started in Wuhan, China, and has been named 2019-nCoV. As of today, 2019-nCoV is not as deadly as the Mers and Sars coronavirus of the early 2000s, but with the current death rate of 2%, there are predictions that it will turn out even more deadly than the previous types of coronavirus.
Like many epidemics before it, including flu and ebola, the new coronavirus is believed to have originated in animals. The epicentre of the new disease was the Huanan seafood market, where shoppers could buy live or freshly slaughtered animals. A large part of people infected with coronavirus was either working or shopping in the Huanan market.
The 2019 coronavirus can be transmitted between humans and is thought to be highly infectious. The most common ways to get infected with coronavirus include touching an infected person, as well as the infected person sneezing and coughing nearby a healthy individual.
Given the popularity of Chinese shopping sites such as Aliexpress in Nigeria and around the world, there have been many talks of the risk of getting infected through the goods delivered from China. The good news is that it is highly unlikely that coronavirus will survive for approximately a month independently, which is how long it takes for your purchase to be delivered.
One of the major difficulties of diagnosing coronavirus has been the similarity of symptoms of coronavirus and other flu-like diseases. Patients with coronavirus suffer from fever, sore throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, and overall feeling of exhaustion. As coronavirus advances, it also causes pneumonia.
Coronavirus is a viral infection, which is why it cannot be treated with antibiotics. The antiviral therapy that is used against flu also won’t help in the case of coronavirus. The treatment of coronavirus is aimed at alleviating the symptoms and preventing dehydration, which is why patients receive medication for their lungs, a steady supply of fluids, and medicine against high temperature.
Most of the cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in China, but over a dozen other countries, including the United States, Canada, France, and Australia, have confirmed cases of coronavirus. Generally, if you haven’t been to China and other countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus since the beginning of 2020 and haven’t met anyone who returned from those regions to Nigeria, you should not worry about contracting coronavirus yet.
As well as with other respiratory infections including flu, proper hygiene is the number one way to prevent getting infected with coronavirus:
- You should wash your hands every time after you have been in a public place. Never touch your mouth, nose, or eyes before you wash your hands.
- If you notice anyone in a public location sneezing, coughing, and displaying other symptoms of respiratory disease, it’s best to stay away from them.
- Carrying a hand sanitizer in your pocket is a good way to ensure your personal hygiene when you cannot wash your hands.
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