What you need to know about COVID-19 + The Italian situation

Definition

The Coronavirus belongs to the family of Coronaviridae, order Nidovirales. They are large positive sense RNA viruses comprising of four genre: alpha-beta-delta-gamma. Until 2019 only six human coronaviruses (HCOVs) were known that could be held responsible for respiratory diseases.

Out of these, four (HCOV-229E, OC 43, NL63 and HKVI) are endemic globally and are the causative agents for 10%-30% of the upper respiratory infections.

The other two Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-COV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-COV) are known to infect the lower respiratory tract. These viruses possess the ability to propagate at an alarming rate, thereby resulting in disease clusters from a single index patient.

Until 2019 only six human coronaviruses (HCOVs) were known that could be held responsible for respiratory diseases.

According to the World Health Organization WHO coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals and humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

Outbreak

At the end of December 2019,Chinese public health authorities reported several cases of acute respiratory syndrome in Wuhan city Hubei a province in China. Chinese scientists soon identified a novel coronavirus as the main causative agent.

The disease is now called the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the causative virus is called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2).

On 9 January 2020 World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Chinese health authorities have identified a new group coronavirus never identified by man. On the 11th February it announced officially that the respiratory disease caused by the new virus was named COVID-19.

On the 30th February COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency of international concern.

The Italian situation

Following the declaration of WHO Italy followed suit to declare on 31 January a public health emergency for six months in the whole nation with respect to COVID-19.

On March 10 2020 00:30h the official news was posted on the website of the Italian Ministry of Health: a new decree effective until at least April 3 limits the movement of individuals in the whole Italian national territory unless strictly motivated in written form by reasons of work or health.

#Iorestoacasa#​ hence became a national slogan encouraging people to stay at home and be on lockdown.

Schools, museums, cinemas, theatres and many other social, recreational or cultural centre must stay closed. All forms of gatherings in public places was forbidden including sporting events and funerals. Shops were closed leaving only groceries and pharmacies with clear indications on social distancing of at least one metre between customers.

Individuals and corporate bodies have been trying to provide financial sustenance to help the situation. Other countries have tried to assist one way or the other. Seeing the present situation Italians are positive and came up with the slogan​ #andrà tutto bene#​ meaning everything will be alright. People snag from their balconies to show solidarity and health workers have been going the extra mile,myself not an exception.

Owing to the fact that the situation is evolving I wouldn’t go into statistics but would advise a daily check up from reliable sources like WHO, Centre for disease control (CDC), European Centre for disease control (ECDC), Istituto Superiore della Sanità (ISS) the official Italian sorvegliance body.

Seeing the present situation Italians are positive and came up with the slogan​ #andrà tutto bene#​ meaning everything will be alright.

Signs and symptoms

COVID-19 could be symptomatic or asymptomatic. The verified symptoms however include:

● Fever
● Dry cough
● Tiredness
● Others may include aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea.
 
Older people with underlying health issues like high blood pressure, cardiovascular issue, diabetes face the risk of developing complicated cases. In case of fever, cough and breathing difficulty seek medical attention.

In case of fever, cough and breathing difficulty seek medical attention.

What to do

􏰀Seek authentic uptodate from reliable sources like WHO, CDC, ECDC, ISS and other specific national and local public health authorities.

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol based hand scrub or wash with soap and water 􏰀

Maintain at least 1 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing

􏰀Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Maintain good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or disposable tissue 􏰀

Stay at home if you don’t feel well 􏰀

Wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms or looking after someone who may have COVID-19

Learn to contain fear

The way forward

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Job 14:7 KJV

At the moment researchers reveal that there is neither a certified cure or vaccine for COVID-19.

Symptoms are being contained to avoid complications and most patients recover thanks to supportive care.
Several clinical trials with western and traditional medicines are going on. Self medication is not recommended as prevention for COVID-19

Scientists and other health personnel are hopeful for a solution and are strongly working towards it.

The world has faced several issues and would definitely come out of this. According to the Nigerian Veteran author Professor Chinua Achebe and I quote “ ​when suffering knocks on your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool”.

 

Sources

Italian Ministry of Health-Covid-19 in Gazzette ufficiale il decreto iorestoacasa March 10 2020 

Marzia Lazzerini- Giovanni Putoto March 18/2020

T.Chen Q.Liv.D. Gino Emerging coronaviruses: genoma structure, replication and pathogenesis.

C.I Paulas, H.D Martsan, A.S. Fauci Coronavirus infections-more than just the common. 

World Health Organization

 
What you need to know about COVID-19 + The Italian situation was written by Udoamaka Elenwoke. A professional Italian nurse and you can follow her on Social media
Hidden Content


>