According to WHO, Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another, 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). Coronavirus can also be transmitted between animals and people through eating infected meats.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms like cold, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. I should say here that the incubation period of the virus is 14 days, so an infected individual may not show these symptoms immediately but can still spread the infection.
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There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. There are some everyday preventive actions to help, these include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay away from crowded areas when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, if a tissue is not available sneeze into your elbow to prevent transmission through handshakes
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household bleach
- Use facemask especially if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty this will help prevent getting infected with most of the diseases around us.
There is currently no specific antiviral treatment for the virus. However, infected people should receive supportive care to help relieve the symptoms. Also, there is a better chance of managing the disease if it is detected and reported early.