It’s been almost two months now since Nigeria recorded its first case of the coronavirus. Since then, the number of cases has been increasing with each passing day. On the 21st of April, the country recorded its highest yet, when 117 new cases were confirmed.
As it stands, the total number of confirmed cases is over a thousand, with more than 800 active cases. While the government is doing everything it can to stop the spread, we can only imagine how things will turn out in the next couple of months.
We have to realize, however, that the government can only do so much to control the spread of the virus. The reality is that we have a very important role in staying safe and controlling the spread of COVID-19. As they say, ‘prevention is better than cure’.
You’ll find this article helpful in keeping yourself and your family safe. Before we talk about the preventive measures you can take, it is important you know what coronavirus is, how it spreads, and the symptoms of the virus.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an acronym of “coronavirus disease 2019”. The ‘CO’ is an abbreviation of Corona, ‘VI’ stands for Virus, and ‘D’ for Disease. COVID-19 rightly represents the disease and not the virus itself. The coronavirus responsible for the disease is SARS-CoV-19. Hence, the disease is caused by an infection with the virus.
How the Virus Spreads
The virus is transmitted when someone comes in direct contact with respiratory droplets of an already infected person. These respiratory droplets can be generated through sneezing and coughing. The virus can also be transmitted by touching surfaces that have been contaminated by the virus. Studies have shown that the virus can survive on certain surfaces for a few hours or even a couple of days.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
The symptoms can range from mild to severe. However, we are still learning new things about the virus day by day. For now, we know that certain individuals may not show symptoms immediately and it can take up to 14 days before they start noticing the symptoms.
Certain symptoms, however, have been specifically linked to the virus. They include:
- A cough that worsens over time.
- Shortness of breath.
- A low-grade fever that increases in temperature gradually.
In severe cases, infected individuals may have pneumonia or difficulty breathing. In rare cases, it can lead to death.
How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus
1. Stay at Home and Practice Social Distancing
Try as much as possible to reduce the number of times you come into close contact with people. Nigerians are naturally social people. We thrive by being around our friends and loved ones. However, now is not the time to be around people. The best thing we can do for ourselves and the people around us is to keep our physical distance.
If you need to stay fit, there are exercises you can perform at home. Try your best to stay indoors.
If you must go out, keep a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others. A nose mask can also help reduce the risk of getting infected when you are in a place where you cannot keep the recommended distance.
2. Wash Your Hands Regularly
We advise you wash your hands regularly as surfaces can harbor the virus for several hours. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap. If you are in a place where washing your hand would be impossible, use a hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean.
3. Avoid Touching your Face
As much as possible, try not to touch your face, nose, eyes, or mouth, especially when your hands are dirty. Even when your hands are clean, do not touch your face!
4. Practice Good Hygiene
Keep your surroundings clean. Also, regularly disinfect surfaces that you frequently touch in your house. These includes door knobs, phones, light switches, and computers. If you want to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow, or a tissue. Keeping your environment clean will reduce the risk of getting infected.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section. I’ll be very happy to answer them. Stay safe!