The Corona pandemic
Written by NN Wannang, Pharmacist, _Professor_ of _Pharmacology_ _and_ _Toxicology_ , _University_ _of_ _Jos_ _and_ ___ _Secretary_ _General_ _of_ _West_ _African_ _Postgraduate_ _College_ _of_ _Pharmacists_
The world is facing one of the worst moments in medical history. The Corona virus is ravaging hard and fast to consume humanity. It is a public health emergency of international concern that our common responsibility is put on trial to take immediate action to forestall this impending disaster.
The following are important to note
1. Corona virus is an envelope virus which emerged from animals eg pigs, camels, bats, cats etc and transmitted to humans
2. The virus targets the respiratory system, similar to and related to the virus that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome- SARS but the biological behavior of Corona virus is unknown and unpredictable
3. It is transmitted through droplets and attacks the respiratory system and creates congestion in the lungs thus, victims have shortness of breath. They get choked and die of oxygen deficiency. This can be within a short period of distress
4. It is without symptoms at the beginning, but as it progresses, ‘running’ nose, dry cough, soar throat, nasal congestion, fever- features of pneumonia will be visible.
5. The NCDC or the nearest health facility should be notified immediately for quick intervention as it can be cured especially at the early stages
6. Being an envelope virus, it sticks to body surfaces and can be removed easily with soap and water. Wash your hands properly with soap and clean water. Because of the ‘light’ attachment to the hands it is easily removed and washed away. Regular body wash/bath is important especially when coming from outside where suspected contacts are possible
7. The hands are the common site/source of infection. Through the hands, it could get to mouths (during eating, picking teeth, cleaning side deposits of saliva etc). Through the hands, it could get to the nose and eyes (when picking nose, ‘cleaning and rubbing’ the eye). The same is possible for other openings/orifices and the virus will be circulated round the body to cause havoc.
8. Hand sanitizer, alcohol based, will kill the virus. It is appropriate to use constantly especially as we move around.
9. The face mask may not be much of help especially that it is not air borne. But remember too, the biological behavior is uncertain. It may trap fluids from contact to other persons
10. Research is ongoing on the treatment. So many agents have proven to be useful, NAFDAC has approved clinical trials on chloroquine and it’s derivatives based on success story from other climes. Please do not self medicate based on the trials. Some other research teams within the country are also on the Clarion call for a cure
11. Nutrition is critical in the treatment and also helps improve immunity. Fruits (lemon, water melon, oranges etc) are rich sources of vitamin C. They help fight infection. Vegetables (broccoli, spinach etc) have antioxidant properties and boost immunity. Garlic, turmeric, green tea increase/boost immunity. You are encouraged to eat
12. Drink plenty fluids (warm water, tea, fruit juice etc). The virus thrives in air-rich zones. Drinking water/fluids constantly will ‘push’ the germs to the stomach where the pH is not favorable for it’s growth.
13. The abuse and misuse of social media is the Waterloo of our era. Please do not be fooled by the numerous information you read on social media. Remember, many died during the Ebola due to ignorance. Consult experts.
The virus is not a myth. We can destroy it through safe hygiene and nutrition. Stay blessed.