After the shocking tremors from Taal, we are yet to find another threat to our wellbeing. This time, it’s silent but can be deadly if left unchecked. A new Coronavirus has been spreading from China and might start to become a pandemic across the world.
What is Coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a type of virus that affects the respiratory tracts of humans. Examples are the common cold and pneumonia. Way deadlier types are SARS (with 10% fatality) and MERS (30% fatality), killing hundreds in the world.
Right now, a new strain dubbed as the “Novel Coronavirus” has surfaced from Wuhan City, China. Having at least 56 confirmed deaths and might have affected 100,000 all over the world (as of January 27, 2020).
It is believed that the virus originated in a wet market selling wild animals like wolf pups and civet cats alongside regular produce. Wuhan City is now on lockdown.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic diseases that are passed from animals to humans. The animals act as reservoirs of the virus until humans contract them. For example, SARS was believed to originate from bats and spread to civet cats. And it mutated to a deadly virus ailing over 8000 people with 774 casualties.
What We Currently Know
The good news is the Novel Coronavirus is not yet as strong as SARS or MERS. The bad thing is it is spreading out, possibly from person-to-person. As it spreads, it can possibly get stronger with every victim.
Some people who have been diagnosed are reported saying that they have not visited the now shutdown and sanitized market.
With the coming Lunar Chinese New Year, Chinese nationals are expected to travel globally to celebrate. If the extent of infection is viral, this could mean an increase in cases over the weekend.
Although the WHO says it’s too early to consider a global public health emergency, the international community is doing measures to prevent the spread.
A Coronavirus vaccine team from the University of Queensland is now working to create one in as short as 16 weeks. But until then, what are the dangers we are facing?
The Threat in the Philippines
A flight from Wuhan arrived in Kalibo just before the ban. 141 Chinese nationals are onboard Royal Air flight RW 999. As of the moment, there are no confirmed cases of the virus with them.
The Philippines is now protecting our fellowmen by suspending flights from Wuhan City. Thermal scanners are also placed in our airports to prevent infected individuals from spreading the disease.
What You Should Do
But as responsible citizens, you can’t leave everything to chance. You have to do something to protect you and your family’s welfare. These are tips you can follow:
Avoid People with Respiratory Illness
If you see someone coughing or someone sick, don’t get close to them. You are risking the chance of contracting the disease. Even if they are your close friends, stay away at least for now.
Avoid Touching your Eyes, Nose or Mouth
We don’t get the illness from merely inhaling. Sometimes, it’s what we touch. The sick might have coughed directly to a table, and you accidentally touched it. Avoid getting it by not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as much as possible.
Wash Your Hands with Soap and Water
Clean hands will protect you from this viral threat. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Secure your health by being cautious about your hygiene.
Use Surgical Masks
Even for freelancers, you might need to go out of your home office from time to time. Use surgical masks to avoid airborne viruses. It’s a simple way to protect your wellbeing.
Avoid Animal Markets
Especially for those with weak immune systems, it’s best to avoid animal markets. Again, the coronavirus is transmitted from animals to humans. You might be more susceptible to strong strains of these viruses with your condition. Better be safe than sorry.
Cook Meat and Eggs Thoroughly
Meat and eggs can be a source of viruses, especially raw ones. Cooking your meat thoroughly will kill most of the viruses and bacteria. Make sure to do this to avoid any complications.
With that, we can prevent ourselves from becoming victims. Stay safe.