WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new type of virus under the family of the corona virus. Although there is no accurate report on the origin of the virus, it first emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan China, and has spread to over 200 countries across the globe. It was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020.
The virus is spread through droplets that are released in to the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets are so tiny that they are easily penetrable, hence the reason for social distancing and the use of face mask.
The New COVID Variant
Viruses undergo constant changes over a period of time. These changes are called mutations. These mutations lead to the reproduction of new variants.
Several variants of the virus have been emerging, which still include the basic COVID-19 symptoms. These variants seem to spread more easily than others, thereby leading to increasing cases. Although there is no evidence that these variants cause more severe illnesses or increased risk of death, it has definitely put more workload on the healthcare system.
The symptoms of Covid-19 are usually evident within the first 14 days of contracting it. These includes:
- Fever or chills,
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing,
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Diarrhea, Headache
- New fatigue/general body weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Congestion or runny nose and
- In severe cases, one can experience kidney failure or even worse death.
There are other illness which share similar symptoms with COVID-19, which is why such as malaria, influenza, cold. We thus encourage you to be careful and not underestimate the possibilities of contracting the virus. If you are experiencing two (2) of the above listed symptoms, call the 08000EKOMED (08000-356-633) to get tested.
How to reduce the spread
We must take necessary precautions to reduce the spread of the virus. These actions include:
- Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers regularly
- Always wear a face mask when in public spaces
- Cover nose and mouth with elbow when sneezing or coughing
- Avoid close contact with people who have cold symptoms
- Seek medical care if you exhibit any of the symptoms
- Ensure you maintain social distancing (6 ft apart)
- Limit social gatherings and avoid crowded spaces
- Stay home when necessary
- Most importantly, follow the laws and rules set by the government.
We all have a part to play in reducing the spread of the virus. Let us all be responsible, and hold ourselves accountable for our actions.