Socio-economic activities in most parts of the world have come to a halt. Most companies have shut down, schools closed, and people have been urged to stay at home. All this is because of coronavirus, a disease that has taken the world by a storm and is spreading like bushfire. What is coronavirus? A higher percentage of the world is now familiar with this disease. Coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, is a highly infectious viral disease.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, also Sars-Cov-2, is the virus responsible for this disease. It is a new strain of the virus that was yet to be identified in humans before the first case was reported in Wuhan, China. That is why it is listed as a novel virus known as nCoV. Coronavirus is characterized by respiratory illnesses like flu. Symptoms of the disease include:
- Difficulty in breathing for those with acute cases
The World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. This is due to the high number of confirmed cases in many countries and the rate at which it was spreading. As I write this, the number of confirmed cases globally is at 1.7 million, with reported deaths hitting the 100,000th mark. The positive side of this is that more recoveries have been recorded. Currently, over 370,000 recoveries have been recorded from the confirmed global cases.
The coronavirus map has witnessed several changes since the first case was reported. Initially, the most affected area was China where the first case was reported. Europe was the next continent that was most affected with Italy, Spain, France, and Germany recording a high number of confirmed cases compared to China. Currently, USA is the most affected country with over 500,000 confirmed cases and 18000 plus deaths. The state of New York alone has more confirmed COVID-19 cases compared to the whole of China. China has done its best to combat the condition, with the number of confirmed cases and deaths reducing significantly. Different operations are slowly resuming in the country’s most affected city, Wuhan.
Flattening the Curve
Different countries are adopting various measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. Most of them have urged their citizens to observe certain practices that can help flatten the curve. Some of the methods most countries are following and have also been recommended by WHO include:
- Social distancing
- Avoiding close contact with people displaying signs of respiratory infections
- Washing hand regularly with an alcohol-based sanitizer
- Avoid touching your face, eyes regularly
- Avoid shaking hands
Coronavirus spreads quickly through direct contact with an infected person. You can easily inhale droplets that contain the virus after an infected person has coughed or sneezed. The other way you can get infected with coronavirus is through greeting an infected person or touching surfaces that have been infected with the virus. Experts recommend the wearing of a 3-layer surgical mask or any other type that can prevent you from inhaling the virus while in public.
No treatment has been identified for this condition. For now, many have to rely on the strength of their immune system to fight off the virus. Researchers from different countries are doing their best to come up with a coronavirus vaccine. Countries like the US and Japan are in their trial stages of the vaccine, and the signs are promising. Over 200 clinical trials have been done in different parts of the world. Drugs used to treat influenza have also been tried. As the world struggles to find a cure and to combat this pandemic, everyone is urged to play a role by following different requirements that will curb the spread of coronavirus.