The new coronavirus that first emerged in China is now in Lagos, Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Honourable Minister of Health announced this on the 27th of February.
The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020.
According to the NCDC, the patient is clinically stable and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital Yaba.
The Federal Ministry of Health is currently working to identify all the contacts of the patient since he entered Nigeria.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, in a statement, said that most people who become infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily, adding that it can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses.
However, the ministry of health has reaffirmed that it has been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly.
According to the minister, “the multi-sectorial Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has immediately activated its National Emergency Operations Centre and will work closely with Logos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.
“I wish to assure all Nigerians that we have been beefing up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases in China and we will use all the resources made available by the government to respond to this case.
“All Nigerians should take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families.” he said.
“Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Maintain at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
“Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in crowd. Make sure you and people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or tissue or into your sleeve or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
“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 970 40-0010. Do not engage in self-medication.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) official has urged countries to begin preparing for a global pandemic as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.
Recall that the same World Health Organisation (WHO) had identified Nigeria and 12 others as high risk countries in Africa, and nine states, including Lagos as high risk states in Nigeria.
How does the coronavirus spread?
The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak is a new illness and scientists are still assessing how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses tend to spread via cough and sneeze droplets.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they release droplets of saliva or mucus. These droplets can fall on people in the vicinity and can be either directly inhaled or picked up on the hands then transferred when someone touches their face, causing infection. For flu, some hospital guidelines define exposure as being within six feet of an infected person who sneezes or coughs for 10 minutes or longer.
Stay six feet from infected individuals
Viruses can also be spread through droplets landing on surfaces such as seats on buses or trains or desks in school. However, whether this is a main transmission route depends on how long viruses survive on surfaces – this can vary from hours to months.
There is anecdotal evidence that the virus can be spread by people before they have symptoms. Some other illnesses such as flu can be passed from one person to another before symptoms occur – but the extent to which this is happening with the Wuhan coronavirus is not well understood yet.
How to protect yourself and other
WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:
Wash your hands
Wash your hands: wet your hands with clean, running water and apply soap. Lather your hands, including the backs, between your fingers, and under your nails and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Rinse.
Cover your mouth
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the bin and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue to hand, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands.
Face masks offer some protection
Face masks offer some protection as they block liquid droplets. However, they do not block smaller aerosol particles that can pass through the material of the mask. The masks also leave the eyes exposed and there is evidence that some viruses can infect a person through the eyes.
Seek medical help.
Seek early medical help if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share your travel history with healthcare providers.
Avoid live animals
If visiting live markets in affected areas avoid direct, unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces that have been in contact with animals.
Avoid raw foods
If you are in an affected area avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products and exercise care when handling raw meat, milk or animal organs to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods.
Quarantine yourself after travel from affected areas
If you have returned from an affected area in China in the last two weeks, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people for 14 days. This means not going to work, school or public areas.
Seek medical advice before leaving home
If you have returned from an infected area and develop a high temperature, cough, runny nose, sore throat or difficulty breathing do not leave your home until you have been given advice by a doctor.
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