What you need to know about Corona Virus Disease
At about 4pm on July 9th, 2020, youths from all over the world tuned in to participate in an interactive session put together by the Special Adviser to the Governor of Abia state on diaspora Matters and Special Duties, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Ogbonna – Erondu via Zoom cloud meeting and Facebook seen by over 3000 viewers .
The guest speaker for the day was Ngozi A. Erondu (PhD, MPH), an infectious disease epidiemologist with a very large portfolio of research and academic achievement. It is only a coincidence that she bears the same names as the SA to the governor.
The program was themed “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONA VIRUS DISEASE” and co-hosted by Dr. Alwell Nwankwoala. By the end of the program, Dr. Ngozi Erondu had sufficiently dissected the topic and many valuable lessons had been learnt about the disease.
Among the lessons learnt were:
● The “corona group of viruses” have been around for a while. They are the causative agent of common cold and flu. This particular virus responsible for COVID-19 is a novel specie of the corona virus termed “sars cov-2.”
● COVID-19 stands for Corona Virus Infectious Disease, 2019 (the year when the index case was reported).
● COVID-19 began in November 2019 in Wuhan, China. Against speculation that the virus was developed in a lab, there is no evidence to corroborate such. The hypothesis on ground is that the virus originated from a bat which either infected another animal or a human (the index case) who took it onward to a seafood market, leading to mass infections and ushering in the start of the pandemic we now face today.
● The virus can be spread through droplets from infected individuals as they speak, sneeze or cough.
● Some symptoms of the disease include cough, fever and headache , even loss of smell . Infected individuals also complain of diarrhoea as the disease affects the GIT. In severe cases, the kidney is also affected.
● Testing for the virus involves taking a swab from the nostrils or from down the throat.
● Some precautionary measures in dealing with the virus include washing hands regularly (as it destroys the membrane surrounding the virus), keeping safe distance of about 2metres or 6feet, disinfecting surfaces and using facemasks.
● It should be noted that some of the facemasks used by individuals are actually porous and don’t really serve as a barrier to the virus.
● COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and so, cannot be sexually transmitted.
● Individuals can be asymptomatic, yet infectious.
● The mean age of recorded infections has dropped significantly to younger people
● People with comorbidities are more susceptible to the disease. Smokers are also very susceptible because long term effect of smoking weakens the lungs.
● There is no particular drug that can be regarded as a sole cure or treatment of the disease at this time
● Clinical trials for a vaccine are ongoing, there is hope that a vaccine will come through in the nearest near future. But normally, the average time for manufacturing a vaccine for a novel disease is 10 years.
● Finally, alot of people talk about the efficacy of ginger and garlic in the treatment of the disease. As Africans, we cannot sweep such under the carpet as our ancestors successfully dealt with diseases using herbs and eventually went on to lead healthy lives.
By the end of the one and half hour session, deserving participants had won prizes for themselves coupled with the knowledge obtained. Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Ogbonna – Erondu thanked all those who participated and promised to put together, youth interactive sessions more often. Already she had a topic in the waiting for the next session scheduled to come up in a short while.
She however advised the youths to take responsibility and to stop doubting that the disease is in Nigeria.