On February 27, 2020, the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed the first case of the corona virus in Nigeria. The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said in a statement that an Italian citizen who worked in Nigeria returned from Italy on February 25, 2020 and tested positive for the virus.
Here are some tips on the corona virus and how to prevent it from spreading.
How Corona virus spreads
In a document circulated by the World Health Organisation, the following are some of the way this virus is spread:
- When someone who has Corona virus coughs or exhales, he/she releases droplets of infected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects – such as desks, tables or telephones.
- People could catch Corona virus by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
- If they are standing within one meter of a person with Corona virus, they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them.
- In other words, Corona virus spreads in a similar way to flu.
- Most persons infected with Corona virus experience mild symptoms and recover.
- However, some go on to experience more serious illnesses and may require hospital care.
- Risk of serious illness rises with age: people over 40 seem to be more vulnerable than those under 40. People with weakened immune systems and people with conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung disease are also more vulnerable to serious illness.
How to prevent the spread of Corona virus
- Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic
Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly. Contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that the virus spreads.
- Promote regular and thorough hand-washing.
Using hand sanitizers in prominent places around the workplace, banks, public places and homes is advised. Washing kills the virus on your hands and prevents the spread thereof.
- Promote good respiratory hygiene
Ensure the use of face masks and make paper tissues readily available at your workplaces and homes for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, along with closed bins for hygienically disposing of them. Good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of the virus.
- Advise employees and co-workers to consult national travel advice before going on business trips.
This is to avoid going to a country that already has the virus. Make enquiries before you travel. If the journey isn’t life or death, avoid it.
Also, brief your employees, co-workers and customers that if the Corona virus starts spreading in your community anyone with even a mild cough or low-grade fever (37.3 C or more) needs to stay at home. They should also stay home (or work from home) if they have had to take simple medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, which may mask symptoms of infection.
- Stay at least one meter away from people who are coughing or sneezing
Avoid close contact with anyone coughing, sneezing or one with a runny nose.
- Avoid crowded places
You may not know who is infected with the virus, so it is important to avoid crowded places so as to prevent infection.
- Avoid close contact with people
The virus is airborne. Thus, it is crucial to keep a little distance from strangers in public places. If possible, avoid hugging and handshakes.