We can only protect ourselves from what we have vast knowledge about. For this reason, this article is a full package of what you need to know about coronavirus. We will begin by explaining to us what viruses are.
WHAT ARE VIRUSES?
Every creature come in two forms; living and non-living creatures. While there are naturally non-living creatures, there are some which originate from living creatures. For instance, a living plant with its growing leaves can become non-living when all the leaves and branches are dried up and are left with just the tree alone which is then use to create more non-living things. However, creatures that exist between a living and non-living creature are called Viruses.
Viruses are microscopic infectious agents that regenerate only inside the living cells of an organism and often cause diseases in the host organism. For as long as the host organism lives, the virus will continue to replicates in it until the living cell dies. Viruses can affect all types of living forms, from humans, animals and plant to as small as microorganisms.
Countries of the world have in the past experienced a different kind of deadly virus outbreak such as Hepatitis B, Ebola virus, HIV, and so on of which we are yet to recover from. The current outbreak of these viruses is coronavirus
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?
Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory diseases. It is a new (novel) virus (nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China, on 29th December 2019 and causes a disease called coronavirus disease. It is commonly referred to as COVID-19.
THE OUTBREAK (EPIDEMIC)/SPREAD OF COVID-19
The outbreak of this virus was said to be associated with exposures in one seafood market in Wuhan, China. Although evidence proofs to be highly suggestive, the market was closed on 1 January 2020. As at this period there were no recorded infection among healthcare workers and no clear evidence of human to human transmission. WHO reported that, among 41 confirmed cases of this virus on 12 January 2020, there has only been one death and that occurred in a patient with serious underlying medical conditions. A genetic sequence which is helpful in developing specific diagnostic kits of the coronavirus was shared with the counties of the world by China
As at 5pm on March 2020, the official counts recorded about more than 94,800 people sickened with coronavirus disease and at least 3,238 people have died of this disease. Infected people were detected in the least 77 countries as at this date.
According to the world statistics (including coronavirus map) on the extent of spread of the outbreak, the latest update of today 12th March 2020 by New York Times reported that COVID-19 epidemic has sickened more than 126,400 people, according to official counts. Also, 4,640 people have died, all but 1,468 in mainland China. Infected people have been detected in at least 111 countries as at this day with Nigeria having only two (2) infected patients. Current report said that the patients are getting better and will soon recover from the disease.
Looking at the rate of variation in the statistics above, it can be concluded that the outbreak of the COVID-19 is spreading fast and claiming many lives. This is duly as a result of a lack of factual knowledge on how to stay safe. May God help us!
CORONAVIRUS MAP: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/coronavirus-maps.html
IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON GLOBAL ECONOMY
The global outbreak of coronavirus disease which originated from China has affected businesses of different countries and the global economy at large. Check below for some of its negative impacts on the global economy.
1. It could cause stagnant growth
The Gross Domestic Product is the major determinant of growth of an economy which is measured as the percentage change in the value of goods and services produced in the economy over a period of time usually a year. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), it is said that the world’s economy could grow at its slowest rate in 2020 since 2009 (the last year that recorded the slowest growth rate in the world economy). As regards the cause, it is said that a “longer lasting and more intensive” outbreak of this disease could halve growth to 1.5% in 2020 as factories suspend their activity and workers stay at home to try to contain the virus.
2. Low productivity
The outbreak, as well as the extent of spread of this disease, is causing factory owners and workers to close down for fear of contracting the disease at workplace. China is the third manufacturing country globally and the world’s largest exporter of goods. Hence, low productivity in China as a result of the COVID-19, automatically translates into low supply of goods in other countries that largely depend on export goods.
3. Low Aggregate Demand
The fear of contracting the disease have also forced consumers to stay at home, thereby causing a reduction in the consumption of goods and services produced in a country and the economy at large. For instance, China Passenger Car organization reported that Car sales in China have fallen sharply by 92% during the first half of February.
4. Travels Restriction
All forms of transportation industry around the world have been massively affected by this disease outbreak with airlines’ industry cutting flights and tourists cancelling business trips and holidays.
For example, information received from the International Air Transport Association affirmed that the UK government advises against all travel to the Hubei province in China, where the virus originated. It’s also issued special travel advice for Italy, which was the first European country to report a major surge in cases.
Despite all the negative impacts of the COVID-19, to a little extent, we are able to see bright sides which are purely associated with businesses. Now you will be wondering what could be a bright side to a deadly outbreak! Yes, we found some bright spots, but as said, they are purely related to businesses.
Positive impacts of COVID-19 on businesses
- It increases consumption of some consumer goods such as disinfectants, face mask which is used as a means of protection against the COVID-19
- The outbreak of COVID-19 promotes online businesses. Consumers now make an online order for any product they intend to purchase and have it delivered to them at their homes rather go out to shop for them where they will be exposed to the disease.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION OF CORONAVIRUS
The coronavirus disease is mainly transmitted through droplets. Droplets (no matter how small) from nasal or mouth membranes of a person contracted with COVID-19 when he or she coughs or sneezes can spread the disease over a distance of 2 metres. Also, these droplets from cough or sneeze of a contracted person can land on hands and surfaces of an object. The disease is then transmitted when these surfaces or objects are touched by other people and then inhaled.
However, the virus can remain dormant on any surface or object for 5 days without doing any harm, but when touched and inhaled through the mouth or nose by a living organism, it then began to cause harm to the body. Conclusively, from these possible transmission methods, it is obvious that the spread of this disease is highly preventable.
While the World Health Organization has described the disease as a pandemic – the acknowledgement that the disease has been widely spread geographically, it becomes more imperative to educate every individual on how to protect themselves from contracting this disease.
Now let us look at the different ways by which we can protect ourselves from encountering COVID-19.
How to protect you and your family from COVID-19
Sadly, there has been a lot of fake or incorrect information out there that has left many individuals unprotected and vulnerable to the disease. Some of this information has also spread stigmatization instead of creating helpful awareness. For this reason, we bring you the facts from standard and accurate sources about how you can stay safe from COVID-19
Images of preventive measures:
- Washing our hands frequently and thoroughly using soap and water. Do not wash your hands with water alone, use soap and water. Also, note the word “frequently.”
- Also, use sanitizers to wash your hands after every contact with people.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick or showing any symptoms of respiratory illness such as sneezing or coughing. If you perhaps have no choice but to stay with a sick fellow, ensure you put on a surgical mask and must be changed daily. Although its effectiveness has not been scientifically proven.
- Coughing into the crook of your elbow helps spread germs easily, please avoid doing so. Instead, you can cover your mouth with a flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing. It is even better to cough or sneeze into a tissue, but ensure you dispose it properly after use so that someone else will not come in contact with it.
- Stay at home when you are ill.
- COVID-19 is zoonotic, that is, they are easily transmitted between animals and humans. In this regard, avoid eating animals like rat, bat, snake and monkey.
A recent update by UNICEF provides us detailed information about coronavirus which will help you learn more on how to protect you and family from COVID-19. Check the information below.
- The virus can live on hands for up to 10 minutes, so you can prevent contraction by putting an alcohol sterilizer in your pocket at all times.
- When the virus falls on a metal surface, it lives up to 12 hours so, frequently wash your hands with soap and water.
- When the virus falls on fabric, it lives up to 9 hours thus, washing clothes or being exposed to the sun for two hours help killing it.
- The virus does not survive in hot regions. If it exposed to a temperature of 26 to 270 celsius, it will be killed. Hence, drinking hot water or being exposed to the sun will help prevent contraction. More importantly, stay away from ice cream and eating cold foods
- Gargling with warm and saltwater also helps in killing germs in the tonsils and then prevents the infection from reaching the lungs
Having knowledge about the symptoms of this disease is as important as knowing the mode of transmission and ways to prevent contraction of the disease. The symptoms of the disease are found below
SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS
As regards the symptoms, research by the World Health Organisation (WHO), found that the incubation period which is the period between when a person is infected and when it starts showing any form of symptoms is said to last up to 14 days. Some researchers say that the period may be up to 24 days.
However, any infected individual will have the following symptoms
Common symptoms of COVID-19
- Mild fever
- Dry cough after 2 to 7 days of contraction
- Mild breathing difficulties at the early stage
- Gastrointestinal issues
- General body aches
As the virus last longer in the body, the symptoms become severe. The patient will begin to experience high fever, Pneumonia and kidney failure.
Several research studies have shown that out of all patients infected with COVID-19, about 98% of them will develop a fever, about 76% will have a cough, 44% fatigue or myalgia, sputum production 28%, headache 8%, Diarrhoea 3%, dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing) 55% and 5% of them will have haemoptysis (coughing out blood).
While the outbreak is a serious public health concern, it is our duty as individuals to take preventive measures in order to stop the spread of this deadly disease. Most people who contract the coronavirus do not seriously become ill at the early stage that is why it is very important to report any symptoms to health care around you as early as possible. It is only in serious cases that intensive care is required. Also, older people and those with existing health conditions, like heart or lung disease, are at higher risk.
Thank you for reading. Stay safe!