As fears of an impending coronavirus pandemic rage throughout America, citizens are gripped with the prospects of what we are really dealing with, how fast the coronavirus can spread and how many people will be infected.
Many Black Americans are probably in a heightened state of alarm because this group is inordinately impacted by most other major American diseases and viruses.
Despite statistics, there are rumors flying around on social media that African Americans may have some natural immunity to the coronavirus. But health experts deny such fodder.
WHAT WE KNOW:
The coronavirus, or COVID-19, causes respiratory illnesses and is spread from one human to another, similar to the flu or common cold, but stronger.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says coronaviruses have been in existence for some time and typically cause the common cold. But this new stronger and more dangerous strain is called the “novel” coronavirus because it had not been previously identified in humans.
The coronavirus has now been elevated to a “public health emergency of international concern.” It has killed more than 3,000 people and infected more than 88,000 worldwide — CNN reports based on interviews from the experts at the CDC.
According to the World Health Organization, the first known cases of coronavirus 19 were reported in Wuhan, China, in December of 2019.
What is disconcerting is the fact that a carrier of the COVID-19 may not show any symptoms for up to 14 days, which means that a person could transmit the virus to another person without even knowing he or she has it in the first place.
Symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and trouble breathing.
“It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties,” the World Health Organization says, according to CNN.
“More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people and people with preexisting medical conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease), appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.”
HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES:
Medical practitioners implore citizens to employ simple techniques to prevent contracting the coronavirus — which is normally advised to ward off the flu and the common cold:
- “Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops and doorknobs,” the CDC advises.
- Avoid people who are sick and stay home from school or work if you are sick.
- Practice normal “correct coughing and sneezing etiquette” which means covering your mouth and nose entirely with a tissue or napkin or your upper sleeve.
- Vigorous hand washing. Practitioners request citizens to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
IS THERE A CURE?
The US National Institutes of Health stated there is no cure, but people have recovered from the symptoms of the coronavirus, CNN reports. However, the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, is currently conducting the first US study of a drug to treat novel coronavirus in humans.