Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, goes the wise saying. In this case, the devil is the deadly Wuhan Coronavirus that has to date infected over 6000 people and claimed the lives of 132. With the virus said to be evolving as we speak, scientists are racing against time to develop a vaccine that they hope will save lives.
Here in Malaysia, thousands of miles away from the Hubei province of which Wuhan – the source of the infections – is the capital, the chaos of a pandemic seems a distant albeit sinister shadow. However, with the number of people here in Malaysia diagnosed with the virus rising to seven people, it’s important to know what we’re dealing with and how we can lower the chances of contracting this illness.
Symptoms of the Wuhan coronavirus usually appear as a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. It can range from mild and flu-like to full blown, life-threatening pneumonia. The more serious symptoms of the disease tend to affect those with existing health issues. Here’s how we can protect ourselves according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
1. Avoid travelling if you’ve a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing
This may seem like a no-brainer, however, we often tell ourselves that it’s just a slight fever (or flu, or cough). Under the current circumstances, it’s best to err on the side of caution to prevent infecting others (and also to prevent ourselves from being infected when our immune system is down).