COVID-19: All You Need To Know (A Guide For Nigerians)

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What is Covid19 | Nigeria

Viruses come and go.  The Spanish Flu of the 20th century saw over 50 million people die. Ebola epidemic of 2014, MERS of 2012, and SERS of 2003.

If you’re worried about COVID-19, the rise in confirmed cases, and how it is affecting lives, you’re not alone. As of the time of writing this article,  confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria are 3526 with about 107 deaths.

These diseases (all caused by viruses) were either, controlled, curtailed or the victims became immune to it (like the Spanish flu). COVID-19 will hopefully be the same.

What you should expect from this guide

What really is COVID-19 and the coronavirus, how does it spread, how does it manifest itself, what can you do to protect yourself and family? Is there a cure for it, how will it affect life and work.

This guide promises to answer all these questions and more. At the end of reading this, you’ll be both informed about COVID-19 and equipped with tools to wade through the storm in health.

We built a tool to help Nigerians during COVID-19

We built a tool to keep Nigerians informed about the coronavirus and discover their risk factor. 

What will knowing your COVID-19 risk factor do for you?

Your risk factor (which is either low, medium, high or severe) will tell you how probable it is that you have been infected (emphasis on probable).

A person with a high or severe risk factor might have to call for medical attention or reach out to NCDC. A person with a medium or low-risk factor might just have to practice good hygiene and stay safe.

Click here to take the test.

We also created a number of guidelines on our website (to be linked) to help individuals, parents, and businesses navigate through this pandemic.

This article might contain a number of things you already know, you’re welcome to scan through and jump to where interests you.

WHAT IS COVID-19

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

What is the origin of COVID-19?

One of the most asked questions today is where COVID-19 came from. The origin of COVID-19 is not certain, but like all zoonotic diseases (zoonotic diseases are diseases that are transferred from animals to humans.

See more common COVID-19 terminologies here). it is believed to have originated from bats, and transferred to humans. 

The first case of COVID-19 was reported in the Wuhan province of China on the 31st of December 2019. Since then, it has found its way into major countries and cities in the world.

As of the time of writing this, 210 countries and territories have confirmed COVID-19 cases within their borders.

Talking about the disease finding its way into different countries, how does COVID-19 spread?

(Our FAQ and terminology pages will tell you more about the naming of the disease and the virus that caused it)

How does COVID-19 spread?

people in a crowded place showing how does covid19 spread

COVID-19 spreads through fluid/droplets. 

That is to say that an infected person can transmit the disease if fluid from his body enters the body (through the mouth, eye, or nostrils) of another healthy person.

This fluid can be droplets from coughing and sneezing.

Note that COVID-19 is not airborne. That is to say that it is not transmitted through the air as was once rumored.  COVID-19 spreads through contact between people or fluids from infected persons.

Now that you know how COVID-19 spreads, how can you tell if you’re infected?

The symptoms of COVID-19

Based on the reported symptoms of the earlier victims from China and other western countries, the symptoms of COVID-19 include

in mild cases.

  • fever, 
  • headache, 
  • diarrhea,  and 
  • coughing 

In extreme cases, 

  • difficulty in breathing and 
  • pneumonia 

Is COVID-19 a deadly disease?

How deadly is COVID-19?

Like every other coronavirus (see details on the 7 coronaviruses that affect humans) like SARS and MARS, COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system of its victims and causes damages that can lead to death or serious respiratory disorders. 

How is COVID-19 treated?

See this video of a COVID-19 survivor.

Yes, people recover from the disease. As of the time of writing this, 865,733 COVID-19 victims have successfully recovered.

There is currently no official vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. Depending on the seriousness of the case, different medical remedies are prescribed.

Knowing that this disease is deadly and there is currently no cure, how do you protect yourself and your family?

How do I protect myself and family?

As was mentioned, COVID-19 thrives on contact. If there is no contact between humans, there is no spread. This is why social distancing and self-isolation was recommended by health agencies. 

To protect yourself, 

  • Avoid all forms of physical contact with people.
  • Maintain at least 2 meters from anyone sneezing or coughing. 
  • Avoid crowded places. 
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Disinfect constantly touched surfaces.
  • Stay at home. 
  • If you feel sick, isolate yourself from your families and reach out for medical assistance.

If you traveled to a place with a recorded case of COVID-19, isolate yourself for 14 days and keep in touch with medical experts all through.

This video from WHO explains how you can protect yourself.

How long does it take COVID-19 to manifest after entering the victim’s body?

COVID-19 incubation period

14 days, is the incubation period for COVID-19. Anywhere between 2-14 days, the infected persons will start experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. At this point, the person should reach out for medical assistance.

Like all diseases, some groups of the population would be the most vulnerable and for COVID-19, those with a history of illness and the elderly are the most vulnerable.

This is because their immune system is already compromised. Such a group of persons should be kept in isolation out of constant reach and given the best care possible.

What should I do if I fear I have COVID-19?

Not feeling well and you fear you might be infected already? Don’t panic.

We designed a free tool for Nigerians that will help you measure how exposed you are to COVID-19. This is known as your COVID-19 risk factor. Click here to use the tool.

Your risk factor (which is either low, medium, high or severe) will tell you how probable it is that you have been infected (emphasis on probable).

If your risk factor is high or severe you’ll have to first isolate yourself and call for medical attention or reach out to NCDC.

If medium or low practicing good hygiene and social distancing will just be enough.

Click here to take the test.

We also created a number of guidelines on our website (to be linked) to help individuals, parents, and businesses navigate through this pandemic.

As a global pandemic, the fight against COVID-19 is a fight for everyone. 

What can I do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

On March 11, COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by WHO (see the meaning of pandemic, epidemic, and other COVID-19 terms and terminologies).

This aroused a world-wide movement for the curb of the spread of the disease.

As of the time of writing this, the disease can not be cured, so the only thing that can be done is slow the spread (something called flattening the curve) and quarantining all those that are affected.

It is the duty of everyone to help stop the spread of the disease.

This is how you can help:

  • First, don’t get infected.
  • Second, help in the spread of vital information that will help everyone stay safe.
  • Third, follow the recommendation on how to protect yourself.

There is currently no cure or COVID-19 vaccine, though work is going on developing vaccines for the disease.

We can’t wait for this, as it takes months before a working vaccine can be rolled out. COVID-19 is not waiting that long for us. Our best shot is to stop the spread.

How does washing my hands help curb the spread of COVID-19?

You have been told to wash your hands, but do you really know how it helps prevent the spread of the disease?

The virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-COV2) is covered with a layer of fat. And soap molecules break down fatty layers, therefore, disintegrating the virus’ structure.

This Video by Vox.com explains this.

How does social distancing help curb the spread COVID-19

If there is no contact between humans, there will be no spread of the disease.

That is why social distancing helps in the control of the spread of the disease. Social distancing helps to reduce human-to-human contact that  COVID-19 needs to spread. 

What is the government doing to stop COVID-19?

The Nigerian government and health agencies around the world (Nigeria Center for Disease Control) are at the war front against COVID-19.

Contact tracing, test centers, and social measures (like lockdowns) have been implemented as a means of curbing the spread of the disease.

Governments around the world are also sponsoring research and development of treatments and COVID-19 vaccines, as well as test centers to ramp up the testing process.

How did COVID-19 affect business in Nigeria and Worldwide

Like in Nigeria, businesses worldwide are on lockdown. The only businesses still functioning are those that deal in consumables and the rest that could run online.

The coronavirus will see a shift to the remote mode of work.  Companies that ran 100% offline will find themselves struggling to bounce back while their remote counterparts are already adjusting and getting back to full force.

There will be a rise in online tools, and high penetration of internet users (everyone is at home, and staying online).

A lot of people have and will lose their jobs, there might be global economic crises, and businesses will have difficulties paying workers, which will lead to mass lay off and unemployment.

The coronavirus will see a rise of consciousness for hygiene and healthy living, a reduction in social contact even years after the epidemic, and a distrust of social gatherings. 

People will be afraid of traveling to certain countries and there might be a rise in stigmatization.

How might this end?

There are two ways this might end, we find a COVID-19 vaccine and we bounce back to life as it was, or there is no vaccine, we manage to curtail the spread and live with the disease as an endemic.

What will the world look like after this?

The world will be a totally new place when this is over, there will be greater global synergy when it comes to health, there might be a social depression, economic depression and the growth of love for health and hygiene.

Conclusion

Viruses come and go, we’re positive in the power of mankind in fighting together and staying alive. This is what we believe at Cura Network and the message our CEO wrote to the world. 

Found this article useful? Share it on social media or mail it to a friend.

Check out our COVID-19 platform built to help you stay up to date on COVID-19 stats across all the states in Nigeria.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin.

Follow the hashtag #curanetwork on all social media platforms.

PS: We would love to hear your thought about this article and the effect COVID-19 is having on the world and how you think the world can best combat the disease.

Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments. And we’ll be sure to respond ASAP.

About the author

John Emoavwodua

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CURA NETWORK

A global decentralized healthcare system, that provides a plethora of features that guarantees the safety, privacy, and accessibility of health records globally. We are bringing patients, health specialists and health providers together to collaborate for faster and more efficient healthcare delivery in a secure environment.

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