The World is somewhat at a standstill and heavily impacted by the Novel Coronavirus, the virus associated with COVID1-9. Businesses have closed, and some have folded up never to be reopened. Economies have been hard hit, activities in several other sectors have halted.
Schools, religious entities, clubs, and income-generating small-scale enterprises now sit quite imagining where all this is heading to.
Most governments have enforced lockdown measures and curfews to bend the curve, or maybe curtail the spread of the virus.
No doubt, the virus has killed over 330, 000 people with over 5 million, and more than 2 million recoveries. In Nigeria, as of 22nd May 2020, over 7000 people have been infected, with almost 2000 cases and 211 deaths at dead and recovery rates of approximately 3% and 27% respectively.
Source: NCDC 22nd May 2020
The virus keeps spreading like wildfire via different channels and calls for stringent measures to safe the lives of individuals. So much has been invested by Governments, organizations, and agencies. Medical experts are researching vaccines but that might require some time.
So far, the best response to prevent this virus from spreading is to avoid contacts with an infected person which several health professionals have recommended.
Thus, individuals can adhere to medical tips and guidelines to ensure that we collectively win the fight against the coronavirus.
Here, we discuss the tips and guidelines provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), and other health bodies and agencies.
Hope you find relevant information to help you stay safe and strengthen the course of defeating the virus.
Coronavirus Modes of Transmission
While several bodies are conducting research on a number of factors and cases to develop solutions and vaccines, several pieces of evidence and findings have revealed the modes of transmission of coronavirus.
Note, however, that reports have shown that the virus shows changes in different environments.
Nevertheless, the virus is transmitted via contact with droplets from an infected person. Here are the common ways of transmission:
The virus spreads when individuals come in contact with droplets from an infected person. This is most common when in close contact with such a person.
According to Worldometer, an infected person can emit droplets while coughing, sneezing, or talking. People who are in close contact of fewer than 6 feet stand the risk of contracting the virus from the droplets.
According to the CDC, these droplets from an infected person can drop on the mouths, eyes, and noses of those in close contact. The virus is known to enter the body through openings such as nostrils, eyes, ear, and mouth.
According to the World Health Organization, respiratory infections can be transmitted through viruses of different sizes. However, research in China has not shown any airborne transmission.
A study by the CDC critically analyzed the possibility of airborne transmission in China with different case studies. Whilst there’s no substantial proof, air-driven transmissions are possible. For instance, high-speed air-conditions and fans can push smaller droplets from an infected person over a sizeable distance of > 1m. Thus, exposing individuals to possible transmission risk when in close contact with an infected person.
3. Surfaces and Objects
Researches have proven that coronavirus can be transmitted via contact with contaminated surfaces over a duration. Notably, when one touches these surfaces and objects and without hygienic practices touches their eyes, it leaves them at the risk of infection.
The duration of survival of the virus on surfaces differs with the type of object and material.
According to a report cited Live Science, the virus stays for 24 hours on cardboard and 2 -3 days on steel and plastic. However, WHO reports that there’s no strong evidence for such transmission mode, and as such, transmission via this mode might not be that possible.
Nevertheless, transmission through contact with these surfaces is still possible and researchers, including WHO, are improving their findings around this mode and others such as animal to human, and human to animal transmission.
Symptoms of COVID-19
COVID-19 is associated with a number of symptoms common with respiratory infections. And is noted to affect different people in different ways. For instances, some persons are asymptomatic and show no signs of infections. Others either show mild symptoms and recover overtime or develop complications that require hospitalization.
These symptoms are highlighted below:
- Dry cough
Less Common Symptoms
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Aches and pains
- A skin rash
- Fingers and toes discoloration
Note that displaying the mild and less common symptoms doesn’t necessarily imply that one is infected with COVID-19. There are several disease-causing factors that can lead to these symptoms. Hence, it’s advisable to reach a doctor for medical advice.
- Loss of speech
- Loss of movement
- Chest pain
Showing any serious COVID symptoms? Call a doctor or use the response numbers below to contact the Nigerian Center for Diseases Control (NCDC).
COVID 19 Stay Safe Tips
To protect yourself and those around you, you’re expected to observe safety tips and guidelines provided by health professionals and accredited agencies. Same with Government guidelines and procedures such as lockdown, maintaining social distance, and avoiding overcrowded places.
Below are some of the coronavirus tips or COVID stay safe guidelines will help you stay safe and healthy.
1. Maintain Good Social Distance
There are several Government restrictions on social gatherings in various states. Some allow a maximum of 10 persons per gathering to allow for effective social distance.
So, what’s Social distance?
According to the CDC:
Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home.
It involves maintaining a realistic distance between yourself and those around you. This is to ensure that droplets from an infected person don’t land on you or possible inlets such as mouth, and nose.
Ensure you stay at least 6 feet (about 2 metres) away for the nearest person. While that is the standard, it’s advisable you stay at a distance longer than that.
Maintaining social distancing reduces the risk of infection in social gatherings and public places.
2. Wash your Hand regularly
Health professionals have recommended regular handwashing as a means of preventing the spread of coronavirus. Handwashing is not regarded as a measure to curb the spread alone. It is also regarded as a hygienic practice that helps prevent infections from bacteria.
The World Health Organization recommends that one wash their hand for at least 20 seconds with soap and clean water, preferably flowing water. while washing your hands, observe these five sequential steps:
- Wet your hands with clean
- Apply soap on your hand and lather the back and fingers.
- Scrub your hands for 20 seconds. The CDC suggests singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice to measure 20 seconds of scrubbing your hands.
- Rinse your hands with clean water
- Dry appropriately
Washing your hands helps to remove possible bacteria and viruses you might have touched.
The CDC provides an extensive guide on handwashing practice and other relevant details.
3. Clean and Disinfect Surfaces and Objects often
Droplets from an infected person can land on objects and surfaces of materials. As you read earlier, research has shown that coronavirus can survive on the surfaces of some objects for up to 72 hours – 3 days.
Touching these surfaces poses a transmission risk. As a result, you should disinfect objects and surfaces often. For example, smartphones, digital devices, tables, chairs, floor, trash cans, among others.
Notably, ensure that you clean and disinfect surfaces and objects you use and touch regularly. This includes but not limited to staircases, door handles, keyboards, light switches and remote controls.
You can use approved Lysol sprays and Clorox wipes, or any other medically approved and recommended disinfectant. Just ensure you don’t use what isn’t recommended to avoid endangering your health.
4. Stay Home and Self-isolate
Another tip to staying safe and curbing possible transmission is to stay at home. Staying at home helps reduce the number of contacts with humans and objects to those within your home. Further, limit the number of visits you accept to your home.
Ensure visitors (when necessary) observe guidelines and all health precautions before entering your home.
Infected individuals, who’re asymptomatic should self-isolate. This could mean using separate facilities, equipment, and objects. For instance, using a separate toilet, bathroom, chairs, among others. This is mostly applicable if you stay with your family or other people at home.
The WHO and CDC provide useful guidelines on staying safe and protecting others from infection.
5. Avoid crowded places
Movements and controlled social gatherings are allowed in some cities and states enabling people to engage in daily activities within stated guidelines and measures.
While you’re allowed to move around and even be present in a few social activities and gatherings, it’s imperative that you understand the risk involved and how to avoid endangering your health and that of others.
Avoid places such as markets, public garages, and clubs as much as possible. Such gatherings limit available space for social distancing and increase the risk of infection.
Therefore, avoid such places, and when overtly necessary, for example buying foodstuffs, practice safe social distance, avoid unsafe touching of objects and surface, and adhere to other precautionary measures to stay safe.
6. Cover your Mouth while Coughing or Sneezing
As explained earlier and with available research from health agencies, the virus might be transmitted through droplets from an infected when they land on inlets of another person.
whether you’re infected or not, it’s recommended to close your mouth while coughing and sneezing. This is to avoid sending out droplets that pose the risk of infecting others.
Disposable materials (e.g tissue paper) you sneeze or cough on should be properly disposed, and the cans should be properly disinfected. Similarly, the use of face masks is recommended just to provide an additional layer of safety against droplets touching your openings.
Relevant Websites for COVID-19 Updates
- The World Health Organization: Get daily updates on global situation covering statistics, reports, trends, among others.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Reports, statistics, research, and guidelines.
- Worldometers: Global and large-scale statistics on trends, rates, distributions, among others.
- The Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Statistics, guidelines, and situation reports.
- Lagos State COVID-19 Website: Cases and updates in Nigeria and Lagos States covering statistics, tips, and reports.
Staying safe and reduce the rate of transmission is a global effort, including you. Everyone is to adopt and abide by government and health guidelines to ensure we win the fight against this virus.
The above tips will help you to protect yourself and others from infection and curb probable death.
Also, these tips aren’t the last or most explicit tips. Hence, access information on trends, changes, reports, and findings to discovers new and approved ways of staying safe. Similarly, observe the guidelines specific to your area of residence to further strengthen efforts to bend the curve and reduce the risks associated with coronavirus and COVID-19.
For more information and questions on COVID-19, visit the NCDC Frequently Asked Questions’ page.