We all read the papers. We all watch the news.we’ve all seen the heart pounding headlines…
So, what really is Coronavirus and how did it start?
Well, the source of the outbreak has been identified to be a seafood market in Wuhan, China, were bats, birds, snakes, marmots, etc are traded illegally. And with the affirmation of the Chinese scientist who discovered SARS, Prof. Zhong Nanshan, we are pretty sure the new virus came from a wild animal. Yes, a wild animal. And if you recall anything from the SARS epidemic in 2003 which left 800 people dead, you’ll probably be wondering why the Chinese government never banned the consumption of exotic meat. No disrespect but Chinese people have got to stop eating every animal they see. They never learn.
Coronavirus is a family name for viruses such As Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and the most recent, 2019-nCov(2019 novel Coronavirus). In adults and children, Coronavirus are believed to cause notable illness ranging from common cold to a severe disease such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.its symptoms include: Runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and fever.
The chances of you knowing someone who has this virus is as about likely as you winning a lottery. Relax.
What are the odds that Coronavirus will end human civilization?
Maybe 1%,and maybe that is probably pushing it.
The virus will probably kill a few hundred, but just like every other epidemic before it; it will come and go. There is no vaccine for the virus at the moment, but usually, epidemics can be controlled without drugs or vaccines by using enhanced surveillance, isolation, contact tracking, PPE and infection measures.
So what has China done to contain this pesky, resolute virus?
China built a 1,000 bed hospital in 10 days which is reminiscent of the feat they achieved during the SARS epidemic back in 2003; completing a hospital in a week. They have now quarantined the entire Wuhan city, shutting down all transportation systems, cancelling public events and initiating public measures. With the help of their digital surveillance system and face recognition database they were able to track down the exact journey of an identified person infected with Coronavirus who used public transport. But all these efforts couldn’t keep the virus in a box.
My thought really, if China, with it’s advanced healthcare system, don’t seem to get a hold of this virus; in a likely situation it gets to Africa, it will definitely be raining graves.
But some of my country me think otherwise. That would be a delusion nonpareil.
Nigeria’s health minister Osagie Ehanire suggests that Nigeria will handle the novel Coronavirus well if it finds it way in to the country. In his actual words he says:
“while the risk of importation exist, we can assure Nigerians of the nation’s capacity to dictate, assess, and respond to this and other health threat in the point of entry.”
I’m not saying it’s impossible I’m just asking, what are the odds? With the dire state of Nigeria’s healthcare system I’ll say our chances of failure is pretty much overwhelming. Should we even be talking the containment of a virus that isn’t even here. What about imposing a travel ban as a preventive measure? At this point I don’t even think we should be receiving any visitor from the Middle East.
Nigeria must understand that it makes economic sense to prevent rather than to control disease outbreak. Prevention results to significant reduction in disabilities and deaths from disease and can be achieved through reliable and responsive disease surveillance, prevention and control.
But all that is far fetched, a distraction from the real issue; a Gollum our Frodo. The real question is this, what has the Nigerian Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) done to contain the Lassa fever breakout in the country? For a country with the capacity to dictate, assess and respond to coronavirus, how have they responded to the recurring Lassa fever? What have they done to for rodent population control?
Let me interest you with some guilt-aged fact; did you know that only 5 hospitals in Nigeria can diagnose a Lassa fever infection?
Written by Ekechi Gerard