Archive for March, 2020

Coronavirus – Spread and control

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Spreading quickly across the globe, many countries (around 200) are now experiencing rapidly growing cases of the coronavirus (covid-19). With little human natural resistance to stand in its way, the virus is infecting susceptible populations, producing an alarmingly high rate of fatalities – an average of about 5%, yet some countries, such as Italy, are experiencing death rates as high as 10%.
The staggered wave of infection of coronavirus around the world is allowing newly affected countries to learn important lessons from those already affected.
With such a virulent organism on the loose, it is important to understand its biology and mode of operation as soon as possible.
Early on in the outbreak, the genetic code of Covid-19 was determined and made available to the worlds scientists to study and work on finding a cure and treatment.
Covid-19 was found fairly quickly to have a relatively simple mode of transfer from person to person – similar to how the Influenza virus gets around – through coughs, sneezes, and from picking it up from contaminated surfaces.
This led to the realisation that the spread of the coronavirus could be slowed by simply keeping people apart, encouraging folks to washing their hands regularly, and, if you’re needing to cough or sneeze, then try and do it into a tissue.
But with many people infected and now heading for A&E departments, it is the staff of the NHS that have become the front line in the battle against this virus. Unfortunately, this has taken its toll with some frontline staff becoming infected themselves with the virus, leading to an urgent upscaling in the amount of testing, and delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) being delivered to hospitals and medical centres nationwide, now often involving military personnel and redeployment of the emergency services to different roles to best support the NHS. We’ve also seen a number of large venues across the country being transformed into dedicated coronavirus treatment hospitals to help deal with the expected influx of patients over the next few months. However, these numbers can be lowered if we all follow the governments advice for us to avoid each other like the plague.
As always folks, please stay safe, protect yourselves and the NHS.

© Willow Science 2020

Coronavirus – Social Distancing

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Social distancing - we’re hearing a ton about this recently. The best way to think of it is that your ‘personal space’ just got a tad bit bigger and is now 2m. But this is great as not only will it help to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, it will also stop you bumping into folks whilst you’re doing your allowed essential shopping, travel to work, or one exercise session a day.
Taken with regular handwashing, the chain of spread of the Coronavirus from person to person can be broken, and the disease slowed.
As always, stay safe folks.

© Willow Science 2020

Coronavirus – A Worldwide Problem

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

By far, the biggest health issue facing the world at the moment is the emergence of the Coronavirus. From cancelled sporting events and music festivals to the closure of cinemas and restaurants, nothing, it seems, has failed to become affected.
For humans, viruses are nothing new, we’ve always got tons of the little critters hanging around that like to ‘have a go at us’ – Influenza, Ebola, Varicella, which are bad and can cause severe illness and even death, however, with most common viruses, we do have vaccines and well adopted treatments that we can use in order to prevent infection in the first place, or give infected people a decent chance of a complete recovery.
The thing what’s going on with the Coronavirus is that it’s a new type of virus that we’ve never come across before, this means that we don’t have any pre-tried treatments or vaccines that we can use to halt it. The real problem is amount of Coronavirus-infected people that are actually dying is really quite high, especially for elderly, immunocompromised, and those with certain underlying health conditions.
Because the Coronavirus affects the respiratory system, it can be spread in a similar way (via the air and contaminated surfaces) to the Influenza virus – and we know how much havoc that causes. This is why we are all being urged to remain a distance of 2m from each other, and to self-isolate if you think you may be infected with Coronavirus.
Signs that you are infected by the Coronavirus may include:

(1) A newly occurring dry persistent cough – the type that will defo bug you.
(2) A fever – basically you’re gonna feel really hot and sizzlely.
(3) A headache.

To further protect yourself and others from all this nonsense the advice is to:

(1) Wash your hands regularly for about 20s.
(2) Refrain from touching your face.
(3) Cough and sneeze into a tissue… or into your elbow if you haven’t got a tissue to hand.
(4) Don’t be touching anyone else’s hands… you don’t know where they’ve been.
(5) Try not to congregate in large numbers either inside or out.
(6) Self-isolate immediately if you really do feel like poop!

Hopefully, all this will pass fairly quickly if we all follow the official guidelines. But who can say as we’re dealing with a new virus here, the government and health specialists continue to revise the best measures for us all to take as the pandemic evolves and as we collect more and more data about the current Coronavirus outbreak, so it’s best to keep up with the daily-updated government information as it’s made available to the public.
Stay safe.

© Willow Science 2020