Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, late 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. This virus belongs to a group of Coronaviruses that have previously threatened human life.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.
COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 19, has affected people across the world forcing countries to take stringent measures in a bid to prevent further infections.
How COVID-19 is transmitted
The virus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with these droplets.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 appear within two to 14 days after exposure. Common signs of infection include the following;
- Respiratory symptoms,runny nose, 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.
Prevention and Treatment
Though currently there is no FDA approved medication for COVID-19, certain standard recommendations to prevent infection spread have been put forward. They include;
- Regular hand washing using liquid shop with running water,
- Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing,
- Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
- For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
Other coronaviruses that have previously threatened human lives
COVID-19 is not the only coronavirus that has affected human lives. Previously other viruses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(Sars) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome(Mers) posed great danger to tens of thousands.
Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans.
Just like COVID-19, both Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers) came from animals.
In 2002, Sars spread virtually unchecked to 37 countries, causing global panic, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing more than 750.
Mers appears to be less easily passed from human to human, but has greater lethality, killing 35% of about 2,500 people who have been infected.
Health experts have said that death mortality rate for COVID-19, is 2%. People with diabetes, heart or lung, children and elderly are more vulnerable.
COVID-19 HOTLINES IN KENYA
In case of any suspected case of COVID-19, reach relevant authority through the following contacts;
To get more information from ministry of health about COVID-19 dial *719# or call 719.