COVID-19: What you need to know

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What is COVID-19?

A new respiratory virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which caused serious pneumonia. The pandemic is now circulating in rising numbers, in more than 50 countries, from person to person.

What is Novel coronavirus?

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Coronaviruses are a wide family of viruses specific to humans, and some, including animals, are different. Occasionally, we see new (novel) coronaviruses that have not been identified in humans before. There are several varieties of human coronaviruses including those that typically cause mild diseases of the upper respiratory tract.

Originally, this virus was believed to have originated from an animal source that contaminated humans and now we’re seeing the virus spreading from individual to individual. It is questionable at this time how easily this virus spreads between people.

This can cause temporary cold-like symptoms as well as serious pneumonia which needs help from the ventilator. This can be virulent and cause extreme pulmonary disease as we saw in past outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Respiratory Syndrome in the Middle East (MERS).

How does COVID-19 spread?

The latest interpretation of how COVID-19 activates this virus is based on what we all know about coronaviruses. This virus is often transmitted from person to person. Unlike the common cold, it spreads by droplets, often created when individual coughs or sneezes. One could be vulnerable to someone who is sick while in close proximity (within 6 feet away).

People are considered to be the most contagious when symptoms occur. There have been records of people getting ill after contact with others with little or no (asymptomatic) symptoms but this is not believed to be the main form of transmitting the virus in the population.

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 how easily does it spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 tends to spread quickly and sustainably in a population where it is assumed that for every 1 person infected, 2 other people may get the virus when they do not secure themselves with simple prevention measures, such as hand hygiene.

One infected individual has been identified as transmitting to more than two but these are uncommon cases. It is believed that this virus is more infectious than seasonal flu but far less dangerous than other extremely contagious viruses, such as measles or chickenpox.

Protecting Yourself

How can I protect myself?

Daily preventive steps should work with this novel coronavirus to help avoid the spread of respiratory viruses. Those measures include:

  • Wash your hands regularly for a 20 seconds with soap and water. When soap and water are not present, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Do not touch your lips, your nose and your mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Remove personal interaction with sick people.
  • Stay home, if you’re sick.
  • Cover with a tissue over your cough or sneeze, then drop the tissue in the garbage.
  • Sometimes affected objects and surfaces are washed and disinfected.

Symptoms and complications COVID-19?

Present symptoms identified for COVID-19 patients included moderate to serious respiratory illness with fever, cough and breathing difficulties.

The CDC assumes symptoms will occur anywhere between 2 and 14 days after exposure

Who should be worried about getting COVID-19?

If you experience fever1or symptoms of respiratory disease, such as cough or shortness of breath, you can call your doctor or take an e-visit to receive virtual treatment.

What is CDC doing about COVID-19?

This is an ongoing, rapidly changing situation and as it becomes available CDC will continue to provide additional information. CDC works to protect the health of humans 24/7. It is the responsibility of CDC to be vigilant and act urgently if a possible public health issue occurs.

Am I at risk for COVID-19 in Nigeria?

In Nigeria we expect we will potentially have COVID-19 cases. It is a situation which is constantly changing and the risk evaluation will change daily.

Has anyone in the Nigeria gotten infected?

Yes. The there has been 8 reported cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Am I at risk for novel coronavirus from a package or products shipping from China? 

In general, due to the poor survival of these coronaviruses on surfaces, the risk of spreading from goods or containers that are transported at room temperatures over a period of days or weeks is likely very small.

There is still something mystery about and how it spreads the newly emerging 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Although we are not sure that even the virus would act in the same manner as SARS and MERS, we can use the knowledge from these previous coronaviruses to direct us.

Coronaviruses are known to be most widely transmitted by respiratory droplets. There is actually no evidence to suggest transmission of the virus causing COVID-19 linked to manufactured products and there have been no reports of imported goods in the United States.

Travel

Is it possible to travel to China or other areas that have had COVID-19 cases?

The situation is changing continually. Keep up-to-date with travel safety alerts from CDC relating to this outbreak.

What if I traveled to China recently and got sick?

If you had been in China or somewhere else and you felt sick with fever, cough or trouble breathing within 14 days of your departure, you should do the following

  • Seek urgent medical attention. Make a reservation before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency department, and inform them about your previous travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or a scarf (not your hands).
  • Clean the hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water to prevent transmitting the infection to others. When soap and water are not available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

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