In China, a suspected epidemic, Coronavirus, is wreaking havoc and claiming lives. A coronavirus is a group of viruses common among animals but now it’s also infecting humans.
Officials in Hubei, the central Chinese province, whose capital is the focus of the epidemic revealed the ‘number of victims’ in a televised news conference. According to the report, the coronavirus has infected a total number of 444 people in the region.
Authorities In China also revealed that the death toll from the new SARS-like Coronavirus infected people rose to 17.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) a public health advisory revealed the symptoms of the new coronavirus, 2019-nCoV.
The virus may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like cough and breathing difficulties.
He stated that treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition. Also stating that “supportive care for infected persons can be effective.”
The NCDC boss noted that the centre was currently coordinating a multisectoral technical group in assessing and managing the risk of possibly importing the virus to Nigeria.
Reports confirm that the NCDC maintains close communication with the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is monitoring the situation globally.
Dr Chikwe added that the Port Health Services unit of Federal Ministry of Health is on alert.
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They have also heightened screening measures at points of entry. Nigerians are to maintain some simple hygiene measures to stay safe.
He said that the current evidence shows that death is a rare outcome in patients with underlying illness.
Ihekweazu further explained in his statement that there was no specific treatment for disease caused by the novel coronavirus. However, doctors can treat many of the symptoms.
The Federal Government has ordered the screening of Nigerians entering the country. There will be a screening of passengers coming into the country through the airports, borders and other points of entries as well.
Here are steps for Nigerians to follow to protect themselves:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.
- Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
- Self-medication is a no-no, instead, report to the nearest health facility if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms
- Healthcare workers should always observe standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients and take a travel history.
Even as the Federal Government is putting things in place to ensure the safety fo its citizenry, everyone should be on the lookout, remember health is wealth.
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