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First case of Coronavirus in Malawi was confirmed in April 2020. Since then, the number of confirmed cased has increased. Several deaths have also occurred due to Corona virus diseases in Malawi. In this article, I will highlights general information on the global pandemic.
Coronavid 19 is a new diseases that has been identified in China in December 2019. There were clusters of Pneumonia cases in china in December 2019. Investigations reveled the new disease was caused by a previously unknown virus. The disease is now named 2019 Novel Coronavirus abbreviated as 2019n-Cov
The virus first occurred in a group of people with Pneumonia who had been associated with sea food and live animal market in the City of Wuhan. The animal reservoir for 2019n- Cov is not known yet.
The origin of the name coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses. The 2019n-Cov consists of a core of genetic material surrounded by an envelope with protein spikes. This makes the virus look like a crown. In Latin ‘crown’ means “corona”, hence the name coronaviruses.
There are different types of coronaviruses which can cause respiratory and sometime gastrointestianl diseases. Mild respiratory diseases include, common cold, and Pneumonia. Some causes severe diseases such as SARS-Cov which was identified in China in 2003, and MERS-Cov , identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
How the nCov 2019 is spread?
The virus circulates in a range of animals. It can jump from the animals to people through spillover. The virus also spread from people to people. It can spread from a sick person to a family members and health care workers. It was first identified in china but has now spread to 25 other countries especially by people who visited Wuhan.
Transmission of the virus
The specific dynamic on how the virus is transmitted are not yet known. However, general y respiratory diseases are transmitted through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also transmitted through contact with somethings contaminated by the virus.
Groups most at high risk
One group that is at high risk of contacting the virus are people who are in close contact with animals such as at live animal markets.
Those caring for the sick people infected by the virus such as family members ans medical personnel are also at high risk of being infected by the coronavirus.
The symptom be mild or severe. Mild symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, breathing difficulties, and shortness of breath.
However, severe symptoms, may include pneumonia, kidney failure, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and even death.
The nCov 2019 infection is diagnosed by Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
Treatment for infected patients
As at the time of writing this post there is no specific medication for the virus. Development of medication to treat the disease is now under way. Similarly, now there are no vaccines to protect people from being infected by the virus. Treatment provided in the specialized hospitals is supportive care.
Prevention of Coronavirus in Malawi
There are several recommended methods for preventing being infected by coronavirus. Here are some preventive measures that recommended by WHO
-One way to prevent from attracting the virus is by covering mouth and nose with medical mask or tissue when sneezing or coughing.
– Another way to prevent attracting the virus is by avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections
– Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is another way to prevent attracting the diseases especially by health care workers.
– Avoiding unnecessary unprotected contact with wild or farm animals
– Frequent hand-washing after direct contact with sick people
-Thorough cooking animal products before eating
-Seeking medical care early if feeling unwell
-Share previous travel history health care providers
Impacts of corona virus in Malawi
Covid 19 has affected almost every country in one way or the other. In Malawi coronavirus apart from leading to death of people it has negatively impacted the economy, education, and overwhelmed the health sector. Furthermore, the outbreak has lead to massive job loses in the country. As reported by nation Newspaper (19/08/2020) 270 000 Malawians have lost jobs in 6 months because of he corona virus pandemic. Job loss is has gravely affected Malawi since it already has high rates of youth unemployment.