July 4, 2020
Talking about (Novel) Coronavirus in Africa

From the article: "But what’s the best way to tackle these if they come up in everyday conversation, whether that’s face-to-face or online? Is it best to ignore them, jump in to correct them, or are there other strategies we could all use? (Read more: The coronavirus and Chinese social media: finger-pointing in the post-truth era) Public health officials expect misinformation about disease outbreaks where people are frightened. This is particularly so when a disease is novel and the science behind it is not yet clear. It’s also the case when we still don’t know how many people are likely to become sick, have a life-threatening illness or die. Yet we can all contribute to the safe control of the disease and to minimising its social and economic impacts by addressing misinformation when we encounter it. To avoid our efforts backfiring, we need to know how to do this effectively and constructively."

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From the article: "While there are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus reported in the African region yet, the continent is on high alert. In a press statement issued on Wednesday February 5, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it had identified 13 top priority countries in the region, which, due to their direct links or high volume of travel to China, need to be particularly vigilant for the novel coronavirus. Novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.   Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.  Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing."