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What is coronavirus COVID-19 | Prevention, symptoms and other important information
Is the media really fueling a global overreaction to the novel coronavirus? Here's what we know so far!
Globally, there's a new favourite word making its rounds - 'coronavirus'. The word 'coronavirus' is being spewed across news channels, it's being slapped onto newspaper headlines, and if you dare emit even a measly cough in public, you risk becoming victim to the stares of strangers, or subject to satirical jokes from your buddies.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The reason why coronavirus is currently experiencing its zenith of infamy is because there is a novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a new strain that has never before been identified in humans.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19, there has been global panic, a mass travel restriction, people being ordered into quarantine, a dip in the stock market, and a declaration of a global health emergency by World Health Organisation (WHO) director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The new strain is currently undergoing intense research and investigation all over the world. Scientists and those in the medical field are hurriedly trying to understand how the virus behaves, and are trying to develop an effective vaccination against the new coronavirus COVID-19. While there is still much that needs to be discovered about the virus, there are certain things that we do know!
What we know about the coronavirus
- Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. In fact, there are several known coronaviruses circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
- Common signs of coronavirus infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough and shortness of breath and breathing difficulties (more severe but rarer cases can cause pneumonia, kidney failure and even death).
- While the illness is fatal for some, most of those infected will experience only mild, flu-like symptoms. It is estimated that the fatality rate of the coronavirus is roughly 3% of all cases; seasonal flu's fatality rate is roughly 5 times more than the coronavirus.
- The coronavirus COVID-19 has the potential to mutate.
If coronavirus is less deadly than seasonal flu, why is everyone panicked?
Seeing as the severity and death count of coronavirus COVID-19 is much lower than seasonal flu, you might ask yourself what all the hype is about. Why is the media creating frenzy and news sources claiming this outbreak to be a widespread epidemic? It has gone so far that Netflix has just released a docu-series on the topic of infectious disease epidemics, and social media newsfeeds are overflowing with fear-filled headlines about the coronavirus COVID-19 taking over the world and wiping us all out. Are these all just scare tactics?
On one hand, people believe that scare tactics are deliberate methods used by corporations, politicians, media and the pharmaceutical industry to make money and gain popularity. Some 'conspiracy theorists' claim that this novel virus was man made in a laboratory in efforts to lock down border control or to attack China's honour (i.e. propaganda).
On the other hand, the coronavirus COVID-19 is novel and not yet understood. Because human beings have never been exposed to this virus, our bodies do not yet have the necessary antibodies to address the exposure to the virus, and for susceptible people with compromised immune systems, this can mean death. Although a global health emergency was declared, the World Health Organisation (WHO) director clarified that the cause of concern is the threat that the virus could have on weaker public health care systems, which would not be able to properly manage the outbreak.
Is it fair to say that the media frenzy of the coronavirus COVID-19 is owed to the fact that this is a very unpredictable time? We don't yet know how the virus will behave, but we do know that it can spread quickly and even have the potential to mutate! As the saying goes, it's better to be safe than sorry.
How to protect yourself against coronavirus
As with any viral or bacterial infection, the standard recommendations to prevent transmission include:
- Regular hand washing
- Covering your mouth and nose (with an elbow or tissue) when coughing or sneezing
- Avoiding close contact to people displaying symptoms of illness
- Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs
- Eating plenty fresh fruits and vegetables
- Living a generally healthy lifestyle (looking after your health and well-being, getting enough exercise, living in sanitary conditions, etc.)
We’ve all heard that prevention is better than cure and that is very true. But how can you best protect yourself against colds and flu? Everyone agrees that a healthy immune system is the place to start! Herbal remedies can also play a part in strengthening the immune system and Feelgood Health has two of the best! KiddieBoost for children and Immunity Plus for teens and adults contain especially selected herbs to boost the immune system and can also be used as a natural antibiotic alternative.
Herbal teas are also a great way to keep your immune system strong. Try sipping on a cup of delicious Yogi Organic Immune Support Tea which contains echinacea, elderberry, basil, ginger, cinnamon and cardomom. This is a soothing, warming and comforting tea to support the immune system.
If you have any questions, please contact our team or leave a comment below for FREE health advice. We always love hearing from you!