CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS: 8 INDICATORS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT

As new data pours in from different research centers, federal, state and international medical agencies, we gain vital insights into how the COVID19 virus behaves and how it affects the human body.

In this publication we intend to bring you up to speed with the latest information as regards how the virus affects us humans and new signs you may have to look for. Also we would look at all the other symptoms and discuss what specifics you would need to identify before you pick up your phone to call your health provider.

It is also vital to note that at the moment, tests can only be carried out with symptomatic patients. This is due to a resource problem as there are not enough test kits to go around. It is also of immense importance to state again that there is no known cure for this particular strain of the coronavirus. However, vaccines and treatments are being developed and set to move to clinical trials a week from the date of this publication.

As earlier mentioned, the analysis of new data has brought to light some new information that is absolutely vital to you and your loved ones!

 

8 VITAL INDICATORS AND WHAT TO DO IF DISCOVERED

  1. DRY COUGH: Coughing is a very common symptom of the Coronavirus but it’s not just any cough, its dry cough. It is not just a mild irritation in your throat or the kind of cough you get when you choke on water, this kind of cough is serious and is felt within your chest. According to CNN, a report from WHO in February indicated that 33% 55,924 people with laboratory confirmed cases of Covid-19 had coughed up sputum, a thick mucus sometimes called phlegm, from their lungs.
  2. SHORTNESS OF BREATH: This indicator does not appear early but it is one of the most serious ones. This can develop without the onset of cough. You will start to fill tightness in your chest and you will find it difficult to fill your lungs with air. This is a time t act fast according to experts.
  3. FEVER: Another very common indicator, fever is rather in some cases misunderstood. The average core temperature of humans is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) but how ever individual core temperature differs. It is for this reason that experts advice not to fixate on an number. Most children and adults will not be considered feverish until their temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius).

Infectious disease expert Dr. Williams Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious disease at Vanderbilt University of Medicine in Nashville, told CNN that “one of the most common presentations of fever is that your temperature goes up in the late afternoon and early evening. It’s a common way virus produce fever.”

  1. PROFOUND LOSS OF SMELL:New data suggests that the loss of smell and maybe even taste is gradually becoming an early sign that someone might be infected.”Based on our study, if you have smell and taste loss, you are more than 10 times more likely to have COVID-19 infection than other causes of infection,” Dr. Carol Yan who is an otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon at the University of California, San Diego Health, USA,  said in a statement.
  2. DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS: In China, a study showed that digestive and stomach (gastrointestinal) symptoms was seen in about half of the 200 patients that were observed. This symptoms was found in a unique subset of people who had digestive problems as earlier signs of infection.
  3. CONJUCTIVITIS: Data coming out of Asia shows that 1-3% COVID19 patients also had conjunctivitis. This highly contagious condition is an inflammation of a thin layer called conjunctiva that covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid. The virus that causes COVID19 is one of such virus that can cause this condition. Still, this condition can be only be worry some if you have other tell tell signs like coughing or shortness of breath.
  4. FATIGUE: The WHO report shows that out of 6,000 laboratory confirmed cases, 40% experienced extreme fatigue. This can be an early sign for some people. Fatigue may continue long after the virus is gone as Anecdotal reports from people who have recovered from Covid-19 say lack of energy and exhaustion lingers well after the standard recovery period of a few weeks.
  5. SORETHROAT, HEADACHE AND NASAL CONGESTION: While only a handful of people experience this condition, it is worthy to note that it bears similarity with the common cold or influenza. A report from the World Health Organization shows that nearly 14% of the almost 6,000 cases of Covid-19 in China having symptoms of headache and sore throat, while almost 5% had nasal congestion.

 

SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

According to WHO and NCDC, if you develop symptoms similar to the common cold or influenza, stay at home (preferably in a different room to minimize risk of infecting family members). Try to manage the situation by treating symptomatically, taking a lot of fluids, resting and fever-reducing medications. If there is no improvement, place a call to your health care provider or the NCDC HOTLINE.

This does not apply to people above 60 or with underlying medical conditions. If you’re having concerns about coronavirus, reach out to your health care provider immediately.

It is still unsure whether pregnant women are at higher risk (you can see why here) but caution is highly advised. If any symptoms develop, kindly reach out to your health provider.

Lastly, does with underlying medical conditions, regardless of age should reach out to their health provider immediately you start developing symptoms.

It’s important that we take necessary precautions in other to safeguard our families and those we love. Stay safe and stay home.

HOW TO PROPERLY WASH YOUR HANDS

For centuries, hand washing has been one of the cheapest means to achieve a clean bill of health and prevent contamination of bacterial from publicly used facilities and equipment. The reason for this is that we are surrounded by bacteria (in fact some live within us and help us survive, they are called good bacteria.) and harmful ones can be transmitted from person to person or from animal to person by physical contact with contaminated surfaces.

As human beings, we are in constant connection with our physical environment. This inevitability makes us prone to come in contact with disease causing bacteria and viruses. Thankfully, our immune systems are sometimes able to kill these disease causing agents but not all the time.

Washing of hands regularly is now seen as an effective means of reducing ones risk of developing illnesses caused by certain microorganisms.

One of the most likely places for bacteria to spread the bathroom. A single gram (that is roughly a teaspoon) of fecal matter contains about one trillion germs, with this you can imagine why the bathroom can be considered one of the epicenters of bacteria. A recent study shows that in a given state or country, over 90% of currency notes such as the naira in circulation can contain traces of fecal matter. Other common spots are Phones and accessories, doorknobs, handles of garbage cans etc.

It is clear that not only do we need to wash our hands regularly, but we also need to wash our hands THE RIGHT WAY!

These are some tips to follow in other to wash your hands properly.

  • Turn on the tap and wet your hands for some seconds
  • Apply hand wash or soap to both sides of your palm, make sure to form a nice thick leather
  • Rub your palms together, focus on one side at a time
  • Focus on both sides of your palms, in between your fingers and under your nails.
  • You should do this for about 20 seconds or more.
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly, make sure your hands are not slippery.
  • Dry your hands with a towel or tissue paper. Air dry if available.
  • Use a towel to turn of the tap.

We have a responsibility to ourselves, loved ones and our environment to maintain a high level of hygiene. The recent outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has made that so clear.

It is one thing to know how to wash your hands, it’s another thing to know when it is ideal to do so. However, you can wash your hands anytime you want but it is ideal to watch out for this scenarios;

  • After using the toilet
  • Before and after eating.
  • Before, during and after preparing meals.
  • After engaging in sanitary activities.
  • After changing the diaper of a child.
  • Before breast feeeding
  • After taken care of a sick person.
  • After handling dusty equipment’s.
  • After work.

Washing your hands can go a long way in protecting you and preventing you from contracting harmful bacteria and viruses such as the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (CONVID – 19).

WHAT ARE CORONAVIRUSES?

CORONAVIRUS

WHAT ARE CORONAVIRUSES?
Coronaviruses are a rather large family of viruses that can cause diseases. Many strains of the virus affect birds and mammals including humans. The coronavirus can cause illnesses such as common cold to more serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronaviruses are usually zoonotic, that means they are transmitted between animals and people.

THE ORIGIN OF 2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (2019-nCoV).
According to the World Health Organization, the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans was first reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019. Global health authorities are yet to pin point its exact origin but early hypothesis links this new strain to a sea market in Wuhan China. Recent information suggests that the first person got sick on Dec. 1, 2019.

HOW ARE THEY TRANSMITTED?
Early information suggests that majority of people infected in Wuhan had some form of contact at a sea market. However, recent cases include people who had no prior link with the sea market which suggest that it is transmitted from person to person via contact with infected bodily fluids like droplets from coughing or sneezing, contact with infected surfaces and also infected animals.

SYMPTOMS OF 2019-nCoV
Infected people exhibit cold or flu like symptoms within two to four days of contracting the
virus. The symptoms are usually mild but can be fatal in rare cases. Symptoms also varies
from person to person.
1. Sneezing
2. Coughing
3. Fatigue
4. Fever
5. Acute respiratory problems, organ failure and death (rare cases)

DIAGNOSIS
Physical diagnosis may prove difficult as the symptoms are quite similar to that of the flu or cold. However, proper diagnosis can be achieved with laboratory tests.

PREVENTION
1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
2. Use alcohol based sanitizer if water is not available.
3. Avoid contact with infected people, surfaces and animals.
4. Use facemasks and gloves when entering infected areas.
5. Keep all contact surfaces clean.

6.  Maintain strict hygiene at home.

TREATMENT
There is no cure yet for this strain of the coronavirus. However it can be managed by giving symptomatic cure (this means giving remedies to symptoms).

CURRENT STATISTICS (AFFECTED COUNTRIES, CONFIRMED CASES AND DEATHS)
This report is according to World Health Organization’s Situation Report as at Feb. 9, 2020
1. 26 Countries have reported at least one confirmed case of the 2019-nCoV.
2.  37,558 confirmed cases globally with 99.2% of cases in China.
3. 6,188 severe cases in China.
4. 812 deaths recorded globally with 99.9% in China.

CONTAINMENT PROCEDURES
The spread of this new strain of coronavirus is closely monitored by, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and health organizations like El-Rapha Hospitals and Diagnostics. People arriving from affected countries are being screened at airports and in some cases placed under quarantine if they show symptomatic signs. There has been no reported case on the African continent. We will provide more update as we get them.