Take action now to prevent the risk of being infected by the Coronavirus (CoV19)

By now everyone is aware of the dangerous Corona Virus (2019-nCov) that was first reported by The WHO (World Health Organisation) on 31 December 2019, when a cluster of pneumonia cases were reported in Wuhan City, in Hubei Province of China, and later confirmed as being the Novel Corona Virus (2019-nCoV). The virus quickly spread to other places in China at a rapid rate and to keep up with gastronomical healthcare demand, it was reported that China built two new hopsitals in a time period of 10 days!

There are currently 132 South Africans in Wuhan who are going to be sent back to South Africa soon, and although they have not tested positive for the virus, they will be quaritined for 21 days, as there is an incubation period during which time the virus can develop and multiply in the body.

The virus have reached  54 other countries including Japan, UK, Malaysia, Thailand, Oman, Lebanon, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Grease, Belarus, Luthiania, China, US, Germany, Kuwait, France, Netherlands, Nigeria, San Marino, Estonia, Denmark, Bahrain, Spain, Iraq, Canada, Austria, UAE, Singapore, Taiwan, North Macedon, Georgia, Romania, Pakistan, Norway, Brazil, Croatia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Israel, Egypt, India, Vietnam, Philipines, Belgium, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Shri Lanka, Cambodia and Nepal with South Korea, Italy and Iran being among the worst affected countries.

Symtoms include fever and a dry cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, chills, rapid heartbeat, and some patients experienced difficulty in breathing and bilateral infiltrates on chest X-rays. In severe cases patients can develop pheumonia, acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure which can even lead to death.

The primary path of infection is from an infected person’s body fluids, including tiny droplets in the air from a infected person’s breathing, or a cough or sneeze. The virus can also be transmitted trough urine and fecal excretions and remain active on touched surfaces for a few hours (UK Science Media, Prof. William Keevil). Some patients have presented with diarrhea and nausea symptoms  one or two days prior to developing a fever and breathing difficulties, according to the new  paper by Chinese authors in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Family of the SARS virus, the Novel Corona virus is one of many dangerous zoonotic flu viruses transmitted between animal and human. SARS-CoV, first identified in China in 2003, was transmitted from civet cats to humans. MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans, was discovered in 2012 in Saudi Arabia.  Corona Virus (CoV19) transmitted from a bat to human. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. Other flu viruses have spread from animals like pigs, poultry, snakes and bats.  Although initially spread from animal to human, the Corona virus (CoV19) is an airborne virus being rapidly spread from human to human. Because this is the first time this specific virus is present in humans, our immune systems still has to build up antibodies to fight off the virus in our body.

Coronavirus (CoV19) is highly contagious and infections have lead to severe illness and fatalities, but with proper nutrition and prevention and care strategies there is an approximate 94% chance of recovery. In an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, the Chinese Government have introduced tight movement restrictions including the cancelling of flights, closing schools and workplaces and even ordering some cities to go under lockdown.

Because there is a 21 day incubation period in which symptoms may not yet be present, and some people may even be carrying the virus  without ever presenting any symptoms, it is believed that many people may already have the virus in South Africa. To take precaution and preventative care it is important for each citizen to apply self care and practice good hygiene, which include washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap. Avoid touching your face, and especially the mouth, nose and eyes areas to prevent infection through the body areas that can carry the virus into the bloodstream. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and dispose of the tissue in a covered bin with a lid. Avoid breathing in near people who are sneezing or coughing. Maintain social distance and a healthy lifestyle. Get rest, fresh air, sunlight and take vitamin C and other immune boosting supplements to build up the immune system. Windy weather conditions can lead to the faster spreading of viruses through the air. It is possible to be re-infected after recovering from the virus, and it is believed that this happens when a ‘new version’ of the virus is caught from another person, with a resurgence of symptoms.

If you suspect that you may have contracted Corona Virus or present any flu like symptoms as described above, please immediately make an appointment with your doctor for an initial online consultation. The doctor will ask some vital questions to access the risk of infection and arrange for a swab tests to test for the virus. If the results prove to be positive the patient will be asked to go under quarantine to prevent further spreading to the community. It is advised that all citizens found to test positive for Corona Virus are advised to be isolated for at least 21 days.

It is important to make preparation in advance for such isolation periods by having some non perishable foods available, as well as other necessities that may be needed during this time. In situations of serious outbreak, it is possible for governments to implement lockdown on certain areas in order to prevent the spreading of the virus. It is important to understand and respect the efforts of authorities to prevent the spreading of any infection diseases. Advance Medical Centre will remain in service. We ask our patients to practice stricter measures of hygiene to protect themselves and those around them.

By taking these preventative precautions and improving awareness of hygiene, you may reduce your risk of infection with communicable diseases.