Coronavirus, COVID-19

The Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, is a common virus that causes an infection in one's nose, sinuses or upper throat. It started from a wet market in Wuhan, China in December 2019, where live and dead animals like dogs, snakes and bats are sold. Coronavirus has killed more people in 6 weeks than SARS did in 8 months. This virus has spikes on it and can be attached to human's lungs, causing respiratory failure or septic shock.  Serious infection may lead to pneumonia and death. Eldery and people with weakened immune system tend to be more prone to infection of this virus. Symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and shortness of breath can show up anywhere from 2 days to 24 days after exposure.

The outbreak moved quickly from China to other parts of the world as it spreads the same way as other viruses: through person-to-person contact. The coronavirus can be transmitted within close contact, within 6 feet. This happens when respiratory droplets of an infected person from his coughs or sneezes are passed to another person or via common objects such as door handles, railings, lift buttons etc. This has since been a global issue when the Chinese travel and brought the virus to other parts of China. Things got worse when they leave their homes to celebrate the lunar new year with their families in other parts of the world.

To control the epidemic, the Chinese authorities started to restrict air, rail and road travel from Wuhan. As the number of infected cases increases, more cities’ and countries join in travel restrictions. Temperature screening points were set up at hospitals, airports and office buildings to detect people having fever. Surgical masks were snapped off the racks to prevent one from inhaling respiratory droplets from infected. Sanitizers, antiseptic and disinfectants were not spared from the shelves as people rushed to stock up. In countries where there are big numbers of infected, large group gathering were suspended. Travel declarations and contact tracing have to be done as a precautionary measure. For those who visited Mainland China, they have to do a self-quarantine of 14 days.

There is so much each country can do. At the end of the day, everyone has to play a part to keep the virus at bay, such as:

·       Be socially responsible if you are not well

·       Wear a mask if you are unwell to prevent the virus from spreading

·       Be well rested and hydrate yourself

·       Do not touch your face, eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

·       Cough or sneeze into a piece of tissue paper and dispose it properly

·       Wash your hands with soap and water before handling food and after using the toilet

It is believed that virus cannot live beyond 26-27 degrees Celsius. Let us all hope and pray that the situation will improve when summer hits China.