With Tuesday’s announcement that a student from China arrived in Kenya with coronavirus-like symptoms and was admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital isolation ward, World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning of what not to do to prevent infection.
WHO officials are evaluating the situation and doling out advice on how to avoid catching the new virus – while noting that chances of getting it are low.
This includes precautions such as washing hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer, covering one’s nose and mouth when coughing, avoiding close contact with a sick person, cooking meat and eggs thoroughly and avoiding “unprotected contact” with live animals in the wild or on farms.
According to WHO, the virus manifests itself in symptoms similar to any cold or flu, with only rare cases turning fatal.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the signs include runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and “a general feeling of being unwell.”
Coronavirus is a zoonotic disease, meaning it begins in animals and evolves into something that can be contracted by humans.
The respiratory virus has already killed more than 100 people in China, and has sickened hundreds of others across Asia.
More than 2700 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, prompting countries around the world, including Nigeria, to shore up surveillance and screening at airports, especially for travelers arriving from Wuhan in China where the outbreak began in December 2019.