A new strain of Coronavirus has been wrecking havoc in China and all over the world this year. It is thought to have originated from a seafood market in the city of Wuhan, China. As a result, more than 4,387 people have died, in addition to more than 121,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases around the world. What does that mean for Kenyans now that the first case of Coronavirus has been confirmed in Kenya? Here are the Coronavirus facts that all Kenyans should know about.
The new Coronavirus is the seventh strain known to affect humans and has been named novel coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses. These can range from the common cold to something more severe like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). While they mostly circulate in animals, some strains of the Coronavirus can be transmitted between animals and humans.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has established that COVID-19 can be spread from an infected person to others through small droplets from the nose or mouth. These can be spread through coughing or exhaling, and also when the droplets land on nearby surfaces and objects. Coronavirus is transmitted to others when they touch those surfaces and objects, or breathe in infected droplets. As a precaution, WHO has recommended that you stay at least 1 meter away from anyone who is sick.
Common symptoms of the Coronavirus are almost flu-like in nature. These include fever, coughing, tiredness and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the COVID-19 infection can also cause pneumonia, SARS, kidney failure and death. Acordong to WHO, about 80% of people who become infected with the virus show no symptoms at all and recover from the disease without needing any special treatment. While the Coronavirus has an incubation period of at least 14 days, Kenyans should know that the virus is contagious before symptoms appear.
At the moment, Kenyans who have traveled to China or have come into contact with someone that has is on a COVID-19 high alert. The virus has also been seen to have a bigger effect on the elderly and people with underlying medical issues, like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart problems.
When it comes to Coronavirus, one major thing to avoid is fake news where someone says that they have a cure or some other untrue information. Kenyans can try to avoid infection by staying up-to-date with COVID-19 information from reliable sources like WHO. At the moment, the viral pneumonia caused by Coronavirus cannot be cured by any existing antibiotics but scientists all over the world are working tirelessly to come up with a vaccine. In addition, WHO also recommends basic hand hygiene such as washing hands with soap and water. You can also use an alcohol-based hand rub which kills any viruses that may be present on your hands. For it to be effective, make sure that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. You can make it easier by singing a song and following this simple 13-step process from Wash Your Lyrics, which is a non-profit website created by a 17-year old UK-based boy.
Other measures Kenyans can take to avoid getting or spreading Coronavirus include:
Featured Image Courtesy: WHO Africa