Mopani Pharmacy did some research, to package and ribbon-tie up all the information that you need to know about the Coronavirus.
The death toll & mortality rate of the Coronavirus
Around 420 people have died so far. Only two deaths have occurred outside of the mainland of China; one in the Philippines, and one in Hong Kong. The mortality rate is lower than that of previous outbreaks. It is currently at roughly 3%.
Spread of the Coronavirus and recovery
It had spread to roughly 23 countries, with no more than 20 cases per country. China however, has had an increase of cases reported. There had been 4515 cases reported by last week, Tuesday. This week, that number exceeds 20 000. Fortunately, people seem to be recovering as well.
Evacuations and denying entry
Some countries such as Australia have started evacuating their nationals from the Wuhan area, but quarantined the passengers and crews. The US and Australia are temporarily denying entry to non-citizens who recently traveled to China, and several major airlines said they expect to halt direct service to mainland China for months. Other countries such as Kazakhstan, Russia and Vietnam, have temporarily restricted travel and visas.
Experimental cures and vaccines against the Coronavirus
It appears that Chinese health authorities are looking into experimental options such as HIV and Ebola medications, however rigorous testing will need to be done in order to determine success. Vaccines against the virus remain at least a year away.
29 Jan 2020
What is the Coronavirus and where did it come from?
The World Health Organisation was informed (WHO) of a pneumonia breakout in Wuhan City, in the Hubei province of China. The virus was new and did not match others. About a week later the virus was identified as a coronavirus. This means that it is a family of different viruses. It is made up of the common cold and others like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), also known as camel flu. The virus was temporarily named “2019-nCov”.
Symptoms of the Coronavirus
The symptoms mimics those of the general flu and bronchitis. It can then progress into pneumonia. This is more common in people with heart disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults. Initial symptoms of the coronavirus include but are not limited to:
- A sore throat
- Runny nose
- Fever, chills or cold sweats
- Aching body
- Coughing, shortness of breath, tight chest
Diagnosis of the Coronavirus
A doctor may request a blood and throat culture test to confirm or rule out the virus.
Treatment of the Coronavirus
Like all viruses, it is something that will have to run its course and your body can fight it off in a few days. The incubation period is estimated at 2-5 days. Antibiotics may be prescribed if a secondary bacterial infection occurs as a result. Examples include sinus or respiratory infections. Furthermore, it is recommended to treat the symptoms as they arise to help ease your body so it can fight the virus. For example, pain and fever medications, decongestants, humidifiers, lots of fluids, immune boosters etc can assist.
Prevention of the Coronavirus
Currently there is no vaccine available, but there are some measures to put in place.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Scrub between your fingers, the back of your hands and up to the middle of your wrists. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- 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.
- Avoid non-essential travel to China and the Hubei region in general.
- Consult your doctor before traveling out of the country. Older adults and those with underlying health issues and autoimmune diseases may be at risk for more severe disease.
- Avoid foreign animal markets, and unprocessed animal products such as unpasteurised milk or uncooked meat.
- If you travelled to China recently and feel sick with fever or a cough or have difficulty breathing, you should:
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
How bad is it right now?
Confirmed cases were at 2 835 on Monday (27 Jan), and went up to 4 515 by Tuesday (28 Jan). The death toll surpassed 100. The majority of the cases are reported to be in China, predominantly in the Wuhan, in the Hubei Province.
Did anyone outside of China get it?
There are between 1 and 14 cases confirmed in the following countries: Thailand, Hong Kong, United States of America, Taiwan, Australia, Macau, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, France, Canada, Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia and Germany. No deaths have been reported outside of China. So far, no cases have been reported in South Africa
What is China doing about it?
A travel-ban have been placed across 12 cities in China, affecting about 35 million people. Unfortunately, about 5 million people had left the Wuhan area before the quarantine area was put into place last Friday.
How long will this last?
A representative of WHO in Beijing, Dr. Gauden Galea, did an interview with the New York Times on Friday. “My own office is gearing up for a number of months,” Dr. Galea said. “We do not expect it to disappear in a number of days.” He also noted that containing the virus would depend on how well everyone adheres to safety measurements.
In conclusion: To remember
Although we are not sure if the coronavirus will reach us, the current flu-vaccines will not prevent getting it. It is very important that you keep yourself healthy. Those exposed to the virus with underlying medical issues and suppressed immune-systems are more likely to be hit harder than those who are healthy. Make sure that you and your family are all on top of the vaccinations available (Wellness and baby clinic). Our friendly pharmacists can assist with the must-have medications, and remember to ask which ones are contra-indicated with one another.
You can also visit the Mopani Wellness clinic for some immune-boosting wellness injections. The wellness clinic is open during trading hours and no appointment is needed.