As COVID-19 spreads globally, so is misinformation about the deadly virus. Knowing facts from fiction can be very important to staying safe in these perilous times.
In Nigeria, 135 people have been infected, two dead, and eight discharged after treatment for the disease.
While more cases are still expected to be confirmed, there are facts you need to know in order to properly protect yourself and loved ones against the virus.
Here are some facts you need to know about the disease
Question – How is COVID-19 transmitted?
Answer – The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (through coughing and sneezing), and by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Question – Can I contract COVID-19 from my pet?
Answer – No. There is no evidence to date that pets such as cats and dogs can spread the virus that causes COVID-19.
Question – What are the best ways to protect me from contracting COVID-19?
Answer – Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms. Avoid touching your face.
We should all help limit the spread of the disease by seeking medical care early if we have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
We should stay at home while we have symptoms, avoiding going to public places to prevent spreading to others. Cough or sneeze into our elbow or tissue, dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands right after.
Question – Who can COVID-19 affect?
Answer – Everyone. People of all ages can be infected by the virus. Older people and anyone with preexisting medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease among others) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
Question – What percentage of alcohol in hand rubs and disinfectants is needed to kill COVID-19?
Answer – Hand sanitiser or alcohol rub to clean surfaces should contain at least 60 per cent alcohol to be effective
Question – Is there a vaccine or specific medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19?
Answer – No. There are not yet any vaccines or specific medicines that can prevent or cure the virus. Scientists are working on developing a vaccine. However, it is important to remember that many of the symptoms of COVID-19 can be treated and getting early care from a healthcare provider can improve outcomes. Most patients recover with supportive care.
Question – For how long should you wash your hands to kill COVID-19?
Answer – At least 20 seconds – about the length of time it takes to sing the “happy birthday” song twice. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and going to the bathroom.
Question – Is COVID-19 the same as the flu?
Answer – No. COVID-19 and the flu (influenza) are different infectious diseases, caused by different viruses.
While they are both respiratory illnesses spread in a similar way (respiratory droplets) and can have similar symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), other characteristics are different.
For example, unlike for COVID-19, there is a vaccine for influenza – and it is currently flu season in the Northern Hemisphere. So, it is important to prevent influenza (and prevent symptoms that could be mistaken for COVID-19 by getting the flu vaccine, in addition to keeping up to date with other vaccinations.
Question – Can COVID-19 be transmitted in both hot and cold temperatures?
Answer – Yes. The virus is being transmitted in places with both hot and cold temperatures. It is not yet known whether seasonal weather and temperature changes will impact the spread of COVID-19.
Some other viruses, such as those causing the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months, but it is still possible to become sick with these viruses during warmer months. However, we do know that cold weather and snow alone cannot kill COVID-19. And taking a hot bath will also not prevent you from catching the virus.
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