Coronavirus and Your Family.
What is Coronavirus?
This is an ongoing pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also largely known as COVID-19. This virus primarily attacks the body’s respiratory system, which in severe cases may lead to pneumonia. The virus is also known to cause organ failures pertaining to the lungs, kidneys, liver, and heart. The incubation period of the virus is typically five days but may range from 2 to 14 days. However, there has been reported cases of incubation periods up to 27 days.
How does it spread?
Coronavirus mainly spreads through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets can be produced when people cough, sneeze, or even breathe. Although it is not classified as airborne, tests have shown that coughs and sneezes can travel from two and a half to four and a half meters. Infection can also occur if a person touches a contaminated surface, and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.
What are the symptoms?
Most common symptoms are fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Rare symptoms may include runny nose, sore throat, and sneezing though this has only occurred in about 5% of patients. These symptoms are typically prolonged from 2 to 8 weeks.
Does it affect children?
Although there is insufficient information right now, children appear to be largely unharmed by the virus. A study conducted in China on over 2000 confirmed and suspected cases of Coronavirus in children showed that more than 90% of the cases were mild or moderate, and about 6% of cases showed more serious symptoms. A small number however of about 0.4% of children suffered from respiratory and organ failure. Young children, particularly below 1 year old, are more vulnerable to the infection.
Does it infect surfaces?
The virus is known to remain infectious on surfaces. This varies from hours to even days. The virus remains infectious for four to five days on plastic, stainless steel, aluminium, paper, glass, and wood; up to 24 hours on cardboard; and up to four hours on copper.
How to disinfect?
Outside of the human body, the virus can be killed by the use of soap, as soap destroys the protective layer of the virus. Washing with soap and running water for 20 seconds is recommended. Disinfection can also be performed by use of alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol.
Practice good hand washing. Wear personal protection equipment such as masks or even gloves if you are at high risk of contact. Avoid touching your face before you wash / sanitize your hands. Disinfect surfaces. Practice social distancing of at least 1 to 2 meters.