What you need to

What is coronavirus (COVID - 19)?

While the name of the disease is COronaVIrus Disease 2019 also known as COVID-19, the name of the virus causing the disease is named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS – CoV2).

‘Corona’ is Latin for crown. Coronavirus refers to the family of viruses that the disease belongs to and are named for their crown-like shapes with spikes ending in little blobs.

There are many different coronaviruses ranging from the common cold to MERS, which is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. 

COVID -19 is a newly identified type that has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness in human.

How does it affect our body?

1

The virus enters the body through the mouth, eyes or nose. 

 

2

After entering the body, the virus spreads to the back of the nasal passage and to mucous membranes.

3

Then it enters human body cells using its crown-like spikes. Subsequently, the virus delays the normal immune system response and replicates itself, allowing the infection to gain foothold in the body.

4

The virus then moves from the back of the throat down to the bronchial tubes towards the lungs. The lining of the respiratory tree becomes injured, causing inflammation.

If infection gets worst, it goes past just the lining of the airway and goes to the gas exchange units, which are at the end of the air passages.

5

Lungs then respond to this invasion by pouring out inflammatory material into the air sacs located at the bottom of the lungs causing pneumonia.

6

Lungs that become filled with inflammatory material are unable to get enough oxygen to the bloodstream, reducing the body’s ability to take on oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide. Multiple organs fail due to lack of oxygen, inflammation and septic shock.

Mild to Moderate Case Symptoms

Symptoms often start in the back of the throat with a SORE THROAT and a DRY COUGH.

As a way of supporting the immune system to ensure that it takes appropriate action against the offending coronavirus, the body’s core temperature rises causing a MILD FEVER.​

Sever Case Symptom

CONTINUOUS COUGH

This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if someone usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).

HIGH GRADE FEVER

As the body increases its effort in fighting the intruders, the core body temperature equally goes up.

SHORTNESS OF BREATH

Swelling and mucus make it harder for the lungs to move air through the airways, making it harder to breathe. This leads to shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than normal.​

How deadly is Covid - 19?

According to several different data, Covid -19 is mild in 80 percent of patients, sever in 13 percent of patients and critical in 6 percent. If covid-19 isn’t very severe and kills only a small percentage of people, why is it so dangerous? Covid-19 is transmitted much more readily between humans than any other known coronavirus disease outbreaks such as SARS – CoV and MERS – CoV.

Take steps to protect yourself
Take steps to protect others

Stay Home

The most effective way to protect yourself and others against coronavirus is to minimize encounters with other people by staying at home.  

Practice Physical Distancing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends keeping a distance of six feet from other people to minimize the possibility of infection. 

This short video by the Jackson Laboratory explains how physical/social distancing helps slow the spread of the disease. 

Avoid Handshakes

If it happens that a person fails to take into account the social distancing moral responsibility and they come in a close proximity to an infected person, the worst thing they can do is shake their hand allowing the virus to spread through contact. People should consider many other alternatives to handshakes to greet each other. 

For more handshakes alternatives check out this video by Avalaunch Media. 

Frequent and Proper Hand Washing

To fend off any virus that might have made it to a persons’ hand, frequently hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 second is a key public health practice that most effectively kills invisible pathogens on once hand.

Please, follow carefully the steps shown in this training video by the World Health Organization to effectively hand wash with soap and water. 

Break Face - Touching Habits

Once the virus has made it to an uninfected persons hand through handshaking with infected person or by touching an infected surface, the worst thing they can do is touch their face prior to washing their hands allowing the virus to get access to the eye, nose and mouth and entering the body.

In this  BBC video, psychologist Natasha Tiwari gives great tips on how to avoid touching our face. 

Watch for Symptoms Associated with COVID - 19

The similarity of symptoms caused by most respiratory infections (common cold, flu and COVID – 19) has many people wondering whether or not they have been infected with the novel coronavirus. If you are showing symptoms associated with COVID -19 and testing is not available, here are the steps you can take to avoid infecting others.

Stay Home

The most effective way to protect yourself and others against coronavirus is to minimize encounters with other people by staying at home.  

Practice Physical Distancing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends keeping a distance of six feet from other people to minimize the possibility of infection. 

This short video by the Jackson Laboratory explains how physical/social distancing helps slow the spread of the disease. 

Practice Respiratory/Cough Hygiene

In order to mitigate the spread, it is highly recommended for people with flu-like symptoms to cough or sneeze into their elbows. WHO also recommends that people sneeze or cough into a tissue then wash their hands throughly after properly disposing the used tissue. This gesture allows viral droplet to deposit on the persons own cloth or tissue rather than on another person or the environment.

To help kids understand healthy sneezing and coughing habits, CDC’s Cover your cough and Sneeze video is a great tool. 

 

 

Wear a Mask

If an uninfected subject is likely to be in close contact with someone infected, wearing a mask can lower the risk of diseases being passed on through droplet projection. Individuals who are showing flu-like symptoms that might or might not be related to COVID – 19 infection should always wear a mask in order to protect others. 

In this WHO video, Dr. April Baller explains when and how to wear medical masks to protect against the new coronavirus. 

 

Avoid Handshakes

If it happens that a person fails to take into account the social distancing moral responsibility and they come in a close proximity to an infected person, the worst thing they can do is shake their hand allowing the virus to spread through contact. People should consider many other alternatives to handshakes to greet each other. 

For more handshakes alternatives check out this video by Avalaunch Media. 

Frequent and Proper Hand Washing

To fend off any virus that might have made it to a persons’ hand, frequently hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 second is a key public health practice that most effectively kills invisible pathogens on once hand.

Please, follow carefully the steps shown in this training video by the World Health Organization to effectively hand wash with soap and water. 

Steps to take if you are sick

These steps are specific to the local (Ethiopian) context. In any other case, please reach out to your health authorities for instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

1. Check yourself for the major COVID-19 symptoms: fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.

2. If you have one or all of the above 3 symptoms, call 8335 and report the symptoms.

3. There may be a long wait time with 8335 but please remain patient and stay on the line.

4. The call operator will decide if further steps need to be taken.

5. If the call operator believes that you are a COVID-19 suspicion case, they will dispatch a surveillance team to come to where you are and further verify your COVID-19 status.