Last December, a novel strain of coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2- was identified in Wuhan, China.
Currently, the virus has spread to over 200 countries around the world and has been labeled as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This article offers a brief summary of the new virus and what you should know about it.
1.What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses belong to a family of viruses from a common cold to coronavirus Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and coronavirus of the Extreme Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
But where do they come from?
Coronaviruses circulate in animals and some of those coronaviruses can spread between animals to humans.
A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19.
2. How is COVID-19 spread?
According to current evidence, COVID-19 can be passed from person to person through droplets from cough and sneezes.
Transmission can also occur through fomites in the immediate environment around the infected person.
Hence, the transmission of the COVID-19 can occur through direct contact with an infected person and through indirect contact with surfaces in the immediate environment or with objects that have been used by an infected person.
3. Is COVID-19 a pandemic or an epidemic?
Prior to the announcement of the World Health Organization (WHO) before March 11, the coronavirus outbreak was identified as an epidemic. this means that it had spread to many individuals, and at the same time to many cultures.
However, on March 11, WHO declared that the outbreak is now labeled a pandemic as it is already a problem worldwide. The decisions also represent the concerns of the WHO as the spread’s rising level is at an alarming rate.
4. What you should do.
To protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 and stop the spread of the virus, you need to practice good hygiene and social distancing.
Remember these steps.
- Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your face especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then make sure you throw the tissue into the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Also, you need to practice social distancing, meaning staying at least six feet away from others.
And if you don’t have anything important to do except for groceries shopping, it is best that you stay at home.
5. Where to get reliable yet up-to-date information/news about COVID-19.
With the COVID-19 crisis encouraging people all across the globe to stay home, everyone is clinging tightly to their phones to keep updated with the latest news on COVID-19.
So many news have been passed around on Facebook and WhatsApp groups, that it is sometimes tough to keep track of what’s really going on outside your home.
There are tons of information online but finding reliable information these days can be challenging as there are also fake news, misinformation, and hyperbole.
And these can feed the fear, anxiety, and mental stress that many people are experiencing.
So how can you spot fake news?
- Verify with legitimate news websites
- Check if the source is legitimate
Having said that, the best sources to go to for health information about COVID-19 are your government health websites. Also, the World Health Organization website.
They should be your primary sources as they are generally better than news articles.