Confirmed in over 120 countries with more than 130,000 confirmed cases and a little over 4,900 deaths as at 2 pm on the 13th of March 2020. The government of Ghana through the Ministry of Health confirmed 2 cases of the novel virus making Ghana the tenth country in sub-Saharan Africa to register positive cases.
The letter mentions that the two individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey thus making them imported cases. The virus was confirmed by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research on Thursday, 12th March 2020.
Both patients are currently being kept in isolation and are stable while the appropriate agencies initiate processes for contact tracing as both started showing symptoms a week of entry in the country.
4 more cases of the novel virus confirmed on 15th of March 2020.
The virus which was discovered in the Wuhan region of China’s Hubei province last year was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization.
Let’s now discuss what the virus is and also provide precautionary measures for everyone to take.
The novel virus is a zoonotic one, meaning it is transmitted between animals and people and in this particular case mostly spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets will land in the mouths or noses of uninfected persons around or stick to surfaces which when touched will stay and cause more damage to anyone that comes into contact with it.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap under running water.
- Frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Practice respiratory hygiene (Cover your mouth when coughing, Sneeze or Cough with your elbow bent, sneeze in a tissue and dispose of it immediately)
- Keeping a distance of at least two meters from a person with fever, cough, sneezing, and difficulty in breathing.
- It is advised to be physically active, drink plenty of water, eat healthily, avoid stress and have enough sleep.
- Stay home of you feel unwell with symptoms of fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing.
Contact Numbers (Ghana)
Contact the numbers below as soon as you start to see the above-mentioned symptoms with your self, friend or relative immediately.
In conclusion, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the 26th of January 2020, began an online course on the topic: Emerging respiratory viruses, including COVID-19: methods for detection, prevention, response and control, and the course can be accessed through this URL below https://openwho.org/courses/introduction-to-ncov
The course is free. Just register for an account on OpenWHO and take the course!