Following the declaration of the Corona virus as a public health emergency of international concern by World Health Organization, there is need to enlighten the public on immediate protective measures.
First, We sincerely thank the Governor of Cross River State Sen. Ben Ayade for the proactive great drive towards the improvement of health care in Cross River State.
We are glad to inform the public that no case of the novel Coronavirus has been identified in Cross River State or Nigeria.
Everyone should be rest assured that:
• Cross River State is ramping up its level of preparedness.
• There is ongoing collaboration with the Federal ministry of Health, NCDC, Federal Ports Authority, UCTH, CRSPHCDA and other line MDAs as well as partners; WHO, UNHCR on Screening and Surveillance.
• There is ongoing sensitization for citizens on precautionary measures against contagious infections.
• Strict monitoring of visitors and temporal residents arriving from countries where the Virus has been reported.
The novel Coronavirus (nCoV) which is currently rampaging China and has been reported in 18 other countries of the world including the United States of America, has caused no fewer than 98 infected cases.
The said Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). They are a new strain that have not been previously identified in humans but are primarily infections of animals that can be transmitted to humans.
Common signs and symptoms of the infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing and in more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
The following is worthy of note about the virus:
• The new coronavirus cant survive high-temperature environments.
• Coronavirus will die in 56C environment within 30mins.
• Utensils should be regularly sterilized /disinfected or boiled in 100C water to totally eliminate all viruses.
• Eat cooked foods; raw foods should be avoided for the time being.
• Coronavirus cant survive long in a warm environment. Thus all households should keep the house heating & ventilation system optimal during this period.
• New coronavirus is easily eradicated by medical grade alcohol.
• 75% alcohol or Chlorine disinfectant can effectively eliminate the coronavirus.
The spread of this infection can be prevented by;
Proper hand washing with soap and water and use of hand sanitizers.
You are encouraged to wash your hands after sneezing or coughing, when caring for the sick, before ,during and after you prepare food, before eating, after toilet use, when hands are dirty, after handling animals or animal waste.
Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
Avoid anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
People are encouraged to carry disinfectants with high content of alcohol in their bags to regularly disinfect their hands especially while outdoors. Avoid unnecessary contact with animals.
If someone develops flu-like symptoms he/she should be taken to a to the nearest health facility immediately.
The Cross River State Disease outbreak response team in collaboration with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital is also currently working on building urgent capacity to identify the virus in their health facilities and isolation centers across the State in the event of any suspected case in Cross River State.
The state ministry of Health is also in touch with Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abuja to align strategies.
The commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, urges citizens to adopt and practice high standard of personal and environmental hygiene including; regular hand washing, covering of mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing and practice of good biosecurity precautions with domestic and wild animals as measures against the transmission of any kind of contagious infection, nCoV inclusive.
Citizens travelling from South East Asia or any country where the infection has been reported or who have had contact with travelers from those regions and are experiencing the above outlined symptoms associated with the disease are advised to go to the nearest health facility for immediate assessment and treatment or call 08038699957 for assistance.
The Cross River State Government is committed to the health and safety of her citizens and so, there is no cause for panic or alarm.