Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is an infection caused by a virus (SARS COV-2). It can be passed from an infected person or through infected surfaces. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, difficulty breathing and loss of smell or taste.
COVID-19 is a life-threatening condition that spreads very fast between people. If you suspect that you have been infected with the coronvirus, speak to a specialist on the numbers listed here.
If you are isolating at home, you can use paracetamol to reduce symptoms like fever and discomfort. It is important that you speak to your healthcare provider if your symptoms are getting worse.
The most common signs of COVID-19 include:
- Difficulty breathing.
- Loss of taste or smell.
Other reported symptoms include:
- Sore throat.
- Aches and pains.
- Red and irritated eyes.
- Rash on the skin.
COVID-19 is caused by the SARS COV-2 virus, which is spread from person to person by inhaling air droplets of an infected person. The virus can also spread by touching contaminated surfaces like door handles or by shaking hands. This is why frequent hand washing is encouraged and handshaking is discouraged.
You have a high risk of being infected if you are/have:
- HIV or other conditions that can weaken your immunity.
- Taking medicine or treatment, like anticancer medicines, that weaken your immune system.
- Over the age of sixty. Older adults have a weaker immune system and can get more easily infected.
- Lots of direct contact with people who have covid-19, like healthcare providers and others who work in a health centre.
- Get vaccinated at your healthcare facility.
- Maintain a safe distance, about one to two meters space when speaking with others.
- Always wear a face covering, like a face mask when you are likely to be in an enclosed space with others.
- Wash your hands frequently (see hand washing and hygiene). Encourage your family members to do the same.
- Cover your mouth with a bent elbow when coughing or sneezing.
If you have the typical symptoms, do not leave your house. Call the COVID-19 emergency care number for home testing. In Lagos, you can call any of these phone numbers to reach authorized responders: 08104362132, 08138922135 and 09075804259.
Call your healthcare provider or the above contacts for immediate medical assistance in case of emergency when you have difficulty breathing. Inform them of your symptoms beforehand so that they can take necessary precautions to protect themselves from infection.
- Stay indoors, preferably in a separate room from your family, for the period that you experience symptoms. Continue to observe this isolation until you have had a negative test.
- You can use paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve fever, headache and discomfort. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's guide and do not overdose.
- Clean surfaces in your room with disinfectants that contain at least 70% alcohol.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Cover your coughs with a face covering or your elbow.
- Take lots of water. Water will ease your coughs and keep you hydrated.
- Eat a healthy diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet will support your body's immune defences.
- You may consider taking supplements like vitamin C and zinc supplements. Be sure to speak to your healthcare provider about it beforehand.
- If you also have other health conditions, do not stop taking your medicines.
- Call the emergency care number if your symptoms get worse.
There is currently nu cure available for COVID-19. Your healthcare providers will treat the symptoms of the disease. In severe cases, you may require specialist care to help prevent damage to your organs, while easing your symptoms.
Coronavirus disease is a severe health condition that has taken the lives of millions of people the first infections were detected in late 2019. Make sure that you protect yourself by following the basic guidelines: keep distance, wash your hands regularly, wear a face mask in public places, and avoid large gatherings. Finally, get vaccinated when you can. The available vaccines protect against COVID-19 infections very well.