NCOV-19 seems to be the scare word of this new decade. Over the past few weeks we’ve heard rumors upon rumors ranging from Vicks will stop the NCOV Virus; to the killing fields in Wuhan, to; the apparent second coming of Christ. All this fear mongering is doing is generating a sense of panic which is not helping the situation. So here’s a few things that hopefully will help ease the anxiety that most people feel right now.
WE’VE ALL HAD A CORONAVIRUS.
Yes, believe it or not, you’ve most likely had a Coronaviruses is a large family of viruses that can cause a variety of diseases to humans and even farm animals and pets. The MERS virus (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), and even SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) are both related Coronaviruses. If you’ve had the common cold, you’ve had the Coronavirus.
WHAT IS NCOV-19?
The Novel Coronavirus or NCOV-19 is a strain of Coronavirus that has, to the knowledge of modern medicine, NOT been previously identified in humans. NCOV-19 causes flu-like symptoms in its hosts. So depending upon their general health, a carrier could just appear to have the common cold, or show more severe symptoms like fever, cough and other breathing difficulties. However, it does open the host up to a variety of complications that may lead to Pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
HOW IS IT SPREAD?
Unfortunately, NCOV-19 is spread by contact with other people. It is not air-borne per-se, but infected respiratory droplets released by sneezing or coughing may find their way into the mouths or lungs of uninfected persons where they may spread. Because the virus is spread by droplets, touching a surface or object recently infected with droplets may spread the virus if you immediately touch your eyes or mouth. But this is not thought to be the primary way NCOV-19 is spread. There have been reports of people with no symptoms spreading the virus, but, again, this is not the primary way the virus is spread.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There are many other diseases far more fatal than NCOV-19 – which doesn’t mean you should not be concerned. However, the virus is more damaging to those with weaker immune systems. So step 1: Stay healthy!
The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, also recommends the following:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC DOES NOT recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Note that the CDC DOES NOT recommend that people who are well wear facemasks, so stop hoarding them if you don’t need them. Let the people who really need them buy them.
WHAT SHOULDN’T YOU DO?
We agree with the Department of Health: the virus is bad enough; the health scare is bad enough; don’t make things worse by spreading what may be nothing more than the musings of individuals with less than noble intentions. The spread of fake news was quite rampant during the recent Taal eruption which only served to hamper relief efforts, spread panic and demoralize those working to assist those affected. An example would be the spread of thousands of pictures showing people evacuating with their animals in tow. Apparently the pictures were from an volcanic event in South America several years ago. Follow NCOV:
- Never Share unverified news/articles
- Check your sources before sharing
- Only source information from DOH Channels – or other official medical channels like the CDC
- Verify your information at the Philippine Information Agency-NCR