COVID-19: An International Public Health Concern

Israel Oluwasegun Ayenigbara


This review presents a synopsis on the current COVID-19 pandemic, with focus on preventive measures. COVID-19 is a new viral infection, and is in form of a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA Coronavirus which belongs to an expanded group of viruses which were identified six decades ago. Importantly, the new COVID-19 belongs to the group of SARS-CoV, and it originated in bats but infected humans through smuggled pangolins. At first, the mode of transmission of infection was animal-to-person, but person-to-person and community transmission of the virus has been confirmed in many parts of the world. With an incubation period of between two-fourteen days, signs and symptoms of infection are mild to high respiratory illness; characterized with cough, breathing problems (shortness of breath), high temperature (Fever), tiredness (Fatigue) and nausea. Presently, no vaccines or specific treatment is available for COVID-19, in light of the aforementioned; prevention is the only substantial and less expensive option. With the envisaged explosive community transmission of COVID-19 in the coming weeks in places with limited daily testing, especially in African countries, it is recommended among many that social distancing which includes avoiding any form of contact with people; either through greetings, hugging or shaking of hands and large gatherings, avoid contact with animal items, dead or alive animals, sick and dead people from areas experiencing COVID-19 epidemic, and basic hygienic practices like thorough washing of hands with clean water and antiseptic soap for the duration of at least twenty seconds should be practiced always. However, in the absence of the aforementioned, an alcohol-based hand gel should be used on the hands frequently. Furthermore, health care workers should adhere strictly to the standard preventive measures in areas of heightened COVID-19 epidemic.


COVID-19 infection; reservoir of infection; mode of transmission; signs and symptoms; preventive measures

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