Coronavirus Updates Africa | Coronavirus-COVID-19 Updates in Africa

As we speak today the world is under a state of disarray and confusion on what to do and how to curb the ever-increasing spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  What began as simple flu in a Chinese town of Wuhan has now proven to be a global epidemic with no cure hence living the global village polarized and disorientated on what to do next. We have now dedicated this page to shading light on this disease that has dismantled society in a way that hasn’t been seen for a century now ever since the 1918 Spanish flu by answering all your questions about this still pretty new virus in the human world.

What is Coronavirus?

In the world of pathology, Coronavirus (COVID-19) isn’t a new virus on the scene but rather just a new strain that is part of the larger family of coronaviruses which have existed for quite some time such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). However, this new strain of Corona Virus seems to be more serial than the former 2 combined given the number of causalities it has claimed in its wake.

Is Coronavirus a disease?

No, Coronavirus is a virus/germ that causes is an infectious disease known as Coronavirus disease 2019 or shortly abbreviated as (COVID-19).

What is a novel Coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Why is the disease being called Coronavirus disease 2019/COVID-19?

Given the fact, there are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. The WHO had to come up with a name that was to be used to identify this new disease since this was a new virus altogether that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for the naming of new human infectious diseases.

On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for the disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

Coronavirus Pandemic 

What is the definition of a pandemic?

A pandemic is defined as an epidemic disease that is spreading worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people”. The classical definition includes nothing about population immunity, virology or disease severity.

By this definition, pandemics can be said to occur annually in each of the temperate southern and northern hemispheres, given that seasonal epidemics cross international boundaries and affect a large number of people. However, seasonal epidemics are not considered pandemics.

Symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19

What are the signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus? What do you feel when you contract Coronavirus?

The signs and symptoms of Coronavirus are no different from the signs of the common flu or cold and these range from common to less common to serious symptoms

Some of the common signs include

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Tiredness

Less common symptoms include

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache loss of taste or smell
  • A rash on the skin, discolouration of fingers or toes

Serious symptoms include

  • Shortness or difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Loss of speech or movement

Which people are at risk of contracting Coronavirus? People who are at risk of getting Coronavirus

According to health experts, people with weak immune systems are the ones who have the highest chances of contracting this deadly virus however there is no guarantee that you won’t contract the virus if you have a strong immune system.

What does Coronavirus do to the body?

When you get infected with Coronavirus, you will start feeling or developing some of the signs and symptoms that we mentioned above such as headaches, fever, joint and muscle pains. These feelings are developed as a result of your body has a strong immune system which responds to the infection. The immune system will detect the virus as a hostile invader and signals to the rest of the body something is wrong by releasing chemicals called cytokines which in turn cause these symptoms to occur to you as the put up a strong fight against the intruding virus. Some people will eventually start coughing up sputum – a thick mucus containing dead lung cells killed by the virus. When this occurs to you, you shouldn’t really press the panic button yet but rather just have ample bed rest, take plenty of fluids and paracetamol and you will probably heal from this. This stage lasts about a week – at which point most recover because their immune system has fought off the virus. However, some will develop a more serious form of Covid-19 and this will require special attention from professional doctors.

Prevention of Coronavirus COVID-19 

How to prevent Coronavirus?

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. This enables you to kill the viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and others. This is advisable because when someone who is affected with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks they release small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets hence getting infected with the virus
  • Avoid going to crowded places. Why? Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COIVD-19 and it is more difficult to maintain a physical distance of 1 metre (3 feet).
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. This is because these parts are soft parts which can easily be used as a passageway for the virus into your body. The other reason is that hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This can be best observed by covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you have used a tissue,  dispose it off immediately  and wash your hands to get read of any viruses that could remain on them
  • Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others. Why? Avoiding contact with others will protect them from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call by telephone in advance if possible and follow the directions of your local health authority. This is simply because the National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area and calling in advance will allow the doctors to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
  • Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources, such as WHO or your local and national health authorities. Why? Local and national authorities are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Why is it important to wear a face mask?

Wearing a cloth face mask is a public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 where social distancing, frequent hand cleaning, and other everyday preventive actions can’t be done regularly. Wearing a face mask is intended to prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others in case the wearer is positive for COVID-19. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. Medical face masks and N95 respirators are still reserved for healthcare personnel and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.