The disease is caused by the virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), previously referred to as the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It is primarily spread between people via respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes.
The virus is thought to have an animal origin. An epidemiological study of the first 72,314 cases released by the Chinese government suggested that there may have been a “continuous common source” of the outbreak in December 2019, which would imply that several animal to human zoonotic events occurred at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. According to this theory, the primary source of infection became human-to-human transmission in early January 2020.
Signs and symptoms of Covid-19
Those infected may either be asymptomatic or develop symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath. Diarrhea or upper respiratory symptoms (e.g. sneezing, runny nose, sore throat) are less frequent. Cases can progress to pneumonia, multi-organ failure, and death.
The incubation period ranges from 1 to 14 days with an estimated median incubation period of 5 to 6 days according to the World Health Organization. A study found rare cases where the incubation period was as long as 27 days.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanirem has now shared ways to prevent yourself from contracting the disease.
1. Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
2. Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
3. Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in crowd.
4. Make sure you and people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your sleeve at the bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
5. Stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. Please call NCDC toll free number which is available day and night, for guidance- 0800-970000-10. Do not engage in self-medication
6. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through official channels on TV and Radio, including the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health.
Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic. The Federal Ministry of Health, through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Nigeria.
Dr Osagie Ehanire
Hon. Minister of Health
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Outside China, where the virus broke out from, the coronavirus has spread to more than 30 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain, Iran, Italy, South Korea, India, and now Nigeria.
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