WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered CORONAVIRUS. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some people may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults.
HOW IS IT SPREAD?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within 1 meter of a person who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
PROTECTION MEASURES FOR EVERYONE
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions: ·
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. As your hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, and call in advance.
- Self-isolate by staying at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low-grade fever (37.3 C or above), and a slight runny nose, until you recover. Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID19 and other viruses.
- Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. A disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill, then you are wasting a mask.
COVID-19 outbreaks can be contained and transmission stopped, as has been shown in China and some other countries. Unfortunately, new outbreaks can emerge rapidly. If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
Please stay safe.
Culled from WHO website.
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ROLE OF NIGERIA CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL (NCDC)
The mission for the NCDC (2017-2021) is ‘To protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response activities, using a one health approach, guided by research and led by a skilled workforce’.
The core functions of NCDC include:
- Prevent, detect, and control diseases of public health importance.
- Coordinate surveillance systems to collect, analyze, and interpret data on diseases of public health importance.
- Support States in responding to small outbreaks, and lead the response to large disease outbreaks.
- Develop and maintain a network of reference and specialized laboratories.
- Conduct, collate, synthesize, and disseminate public health research to inform policy.
- Lead Nigeria’s engagement with the international community on diseases of public health relevance
BENEFITS OF NCDC
The Benefits of NCDC are;
- To cushion the effect of COVID-19 impact on economic activities of the country
- To set up and coordinate prevention measures against the rapid spread of infectious disease
- To prevent, detect and respond to the threat of infectious disease
- To respond to the challenges of public health emergencies and to enhance Nigeria’s preparedness and response to epidemics through prevention, detection, and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases.