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When Social Distancing Cannot Be Achieved, Use Face Masks – FG

Mr. Osagie Ehanire

Mr. Osagie Ehanire

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has come out to beg Nigerians to start using face masks in public places to prevent coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

He revealed this during a recent media briefing because it would provide extra protection from the virus that has infected nearly 2 million people across the world.

According to him, the masks can be improvised or homemade and they do not have to be of high quality like the N95 masks recommended for health workers.

He added that this is compulsory in times when social distancing may not be achieved or when close contact is inevitable.

His words, “A layered cotton fabric over the mouth and nose guards against particle emission during laughter, exclamation or loud talk and may offer mutual protection to wearers, especially where social distancing may not be achieved, or where close contact may not be avoided with certainty, such as markets.”

What do you think?

Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), and others that can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Symptoms in other species vary: in chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they cause diarrhea. There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.

Coronaviruses constitute the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae, in the family Coronaviridae, order Nidovirales, and realm Riboviria. They are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry. The genome size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 27 to 34 kilobases, the largest among known RNA viruses. The name coronavirus is derived from the Latin corona, meaning “crown” or “halo”, which refers to the characteristic appearance reminiscent of a crown or a solar corona around the virions (virus particles) when viewed under two-dimensional transmission electron microscopy, due to the surface covering in club-shaped protein spikes.

Human coronaviruses were first discovered in the late 1960s. The earliest ones discovered were an infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and two in human patients with the common cold (later named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43). Other members of this family have since been identified, including SARS-CoV in 2003, HCoV NL63 in 2004, HKU1 in 2005, MERS-CoV in 2012, and SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known as 2019-nCoV) in 2019. Most of these have involved serious respiratory tract infections.




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