The coronaviruses are a spectrum of related viruses that cause respiratory illnesses. These illnesses could be as simple as a common cold to severe ones such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Its structure has spikes that protrude from its membrane just like the sun’s corona hence the name coronavirus.
Where Did The Outbreak Begin?
The patient zero can be traced at the heart of China in a live seafood, wild animal, and poultry market in a city called Wuhan.
The exact source of the virus is not yet established. However, WHO suspects that an animal source is the most likely cause of the outbreak. This is especially given that various wildlife, including reptiles, are illegally traded in the Wuhan food market.
What Are The Coronavirus Symptoms?
Its symptoms are similar to any other upper respiratory infection. These include:
- Runny nose,
- Sore throat,
- Breathing difficulties
- and sometimes a fever.
Severe cases of coronavirus can lead to SARS, kidney failure, pneumonia, and even death. Some sources claim that the virus takes 2-14 days for the symptoms manifest.
How Deadly Is It?
Though the disease seems to have peaked in China WHO warns of a global pandemic risk after as more infections mushroom in various parts of the globe.
As on 25th February 2020, over 80,000 people have contracted the virus and has resulted to deaths of over 2,700 people.
How To Protect Yourself & Others
Wash your hands frequently with soap.
- Cover your mouth & nose with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze on into your upper sleeve.
- Avoid close contact with someone with the above symptoms.
- Avoid close contact with someone who has travelled to China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand or other risk areas within the last two weeks.
- Stay at home if you have the flu to avoid infecting others.
- Seek medical help if your symptoms get worse.
For more information, contact our infection control department.
Coronavirus Status in Kenya
There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Kenya and Africa so far. However, there are a few cases that have caused a scare in the country which are currently under investigation.