Hey everyone! We know it's been a while and we must say we've missed you. It's a crazy time in the world right now and we know a lot of us are worried about the recent coronavirus outbreak. So whilst the team at SHAKE Africa are staying home and social distancing and all that...
We thought we would dedicate his blog to answering some frequently asked questions about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Please remember that there is a lot of misinformation out there so please only use trusted sources for your information.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a novel (never previously been identified) virus that is from a family of viruses called the coronaviruses. There are different types of coronavirus, many of which cause mild illness and the common cold - Covid-19 is not the same as the ones that cause the common cold.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
There appears to be a spectrum of COVID-19 presentations with some people having relatively mild disease and others having severe illness or even dying from it.
The following symptoms may occur:
A new continuous cough - coughing a lot for over an hour, 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours or worsening of a cough you had previously
Shortness of Breath
What is the source of the virus?
As mentioned above coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which can cause mild illnesses such as the common cold in humans. Some of the coronaviruses can also infect animals e.g. cats, dogs and rats. Rarely, there can be cross-infection between animals and humans and this is what is believed to have happened with COVID-19. COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan City, China, with the first infections being linked to a live animal market.
How does the virus spread?
As it is a new virus, we cannot be exactly sure how it is spread.
COVID-19 appears to spread mainly from person-to-person:
Between people who are in close contact (within approximately 6 feet)
Through respiratory droplets which are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in mouths or noses of people in close proximity and can subsequently be inhaled into the lungs.
It appears that people who are asymptomatic (not currently showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19), are still able to spread the infection.
How can I protect myself?
WASH YOUR HANDSSSS! We're sure you've been hearing this a lot but its true.. SOAP IS YOUR FRIEND! (shout out to all the mummies and aunties who have been putting dettol in our water since day 1. You're the real MVPs).
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds particularly if you've been in a public place or if you've been sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
If you do not have soap available, use a hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol. Ensure you adequately cover all surfaces of your hands and rub the gel in until your hands feel dry.
Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands. These are all potential portals of entry for the virus!
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Avoid social activities e.g. theatres, cinemas and restaurants
If COVID-19 is spreading in your community put distance between yourself and other people. Remember: the virus appears to be able to be transmitted from people who do not know they have the virus.
Whilst you're protecting yourself.. be sure to protect others! If you're unwell in any way stay at home and self-isolate. If you feel like you can't cope with your symptoms at home, contact relevant health authorities in your area via the phone and they can advise you on what to do.
Who is at higher risk of serious illness?
People aged 65 and over
People of any age with underlying medical conditions including: lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, a weakened immune system, currently or recently on chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer, sickle cell anaemia and chronic kidney disease.
What treatment is available for COVID-19?
There is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19.
As it is a virus, antibiotics do not work against it.
Any treatment is aimed at helping to manage the symptoms of COVID-19 whilst your body naturally fights the illness.
It is important to stay in insolation until you have recovered from the illness to prevent onwards transmission.
We hope we've answered the main questions about the virus. If you have any more questions please feel free to message us and we would be happy to answer them for you!
Stay safeeeee guys and do what you need to do to protect the most vulnerable people in your community.
We're thinking of all of you!
Lots of love to you all,
From your friends at SHAKE Africa