While we may have no major reason to panic just yet as the Department of Health (DOH) earlier claimed Philippine cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) are at nil, it's always better to be safe than sorry. And while the DOH cried for the stop of fake news dissemination regarding the disease, it's also our responsibility to read up so we can better care for ourselves and our loved ones.
Here's what we know so far: The virus is said to have originated from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan in China, with a population of more than 11 million. It's classified as zoonotic, meaning it's easily transmitted between animals and humans. It causes symptoms likened to that of the fatal SARS from 2003-2004, causing respiratory problems that don't respond to antibiotic treatment. It can thus lead to death.
As of press time, the number of deaths from the 2019-nCoV has climbed to 106 with more than 4,000 infected across China. The flu has already spread to nearby countries (Asia-Pacific) and as far as Europe and the US.
Worldwide, researchers and scientists plus the DOH have already hyphothesized human-to-human transmission as the way of spread. Yes, the transmission can be as simple as by sneezing and coughing next to someone or shaking hands and making beso with him.
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So, what does the DOH suggest we can do at home and while out and about? Read on.
1. Regular, proper handwashing. Soap brands like Safeguard advise the use of germicidal soap and warm water to help reduce any risk of infection. Wash your hands for at least 40 to 60 seconds. As alternative, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
2. Completely cover your mouth and nose when sneezing/coughing. Use a tissue or a sleeve to help stop the spread of any virus.
3. Avoid close contact with infected fellows. Just the same, try to keep away from those exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
4. Thoroughly cook meat and eggs. As DOH earlier advised against the consumption of raw meat like kilawin, drink lots of water to keep you energized and hydrated!
5. Avoid unprotected contact with live wild and farm animals. While (infected) uncooked or half-cooked food do pose as a threat, it's also advised to keep away from live animals.
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