Cancer Care & The Corona Virus

Coronavirus is a group of RNA viruses that cause a variety of diseases in humans and other animals. The newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses and is believed to have started in China. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new coronavirus and the first cases were registered in China, in December 2019.

The disease causes respiratory illness with flu-like symptoms such as a cough, fever and in severe cases, difficulty in breathing.

What #CancerSoldiers and caregivers need to know about the Coronavirus.

The COVID-19 outbreak is still new, so doctors do not have a lot of specific information for cancer patients. It is however advised that they avoid being exposed to the virus because they are at a higher risk for serious illness, should they get infected. This is because their immune system is compromised or eliminated by the treatment process and therefore their bodies may not be in a position to fight the virus. Caregivers are advised to take the necessary precautions to avoid exposing their patients who are already vulnerable.

Taking your nutrition seriously as a cancer patient or a survivor is also important, as this gives your immune system a boost and gives you a higher chance of fighting off the virus, or any infection for that matter. Just like cancer, it is important to put in mind that being infected with the coronavirus is not a death sentence. High recovery than death cases have so far been recorded and that gives us hope that we got this; We shall fight, we shall overcome and we will be okay, because we are #CancerSoldiers and “fight” is what we do best, we never give up!

Call your doctor or visit a hospital if you have the following symptoms;

  1. Fever
  2. Cough
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Tiredness.

Myths

  1. Africans Cannot get infected
    Just like any other virus, the coronavirus can infect everyone, regardless of their race or ethnicity. Despite the fact that cases registered in Africa are fewer compared to those registered in other regions, the fact remains that we can still catch the virus and this is evident through the increasing number of new cases across Africa.
  2. COVID-19 can not be transmitted in hot and humid climates
    From the evidence so far, the virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of the climate adopt preventive measures if you live in or travel to areas with reported COVID-19 cases.
  3. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will kill the virus
    Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill the viruses that have ALREADY ENTERED your body. If anything, spraying such substances can be harmful to the mucous membranes. However, they can be used to disinfect surfs, but they should be used under appropriate recommendations.
  4. COVID-19 is a bio-weapon
    Well, let us focus on taking care of ourselves for now. We will engage in conspiracy theories when this is over and we will probably have a couple good jokes to tell.
  5. Eating Garlic will help prevent me from getting the virus
    There is no evidence from the current outbreak that shows that eating garlic has protected people from the coronavirus. However, garlic is a healthy food that may have antimicrobial properties and eating healthy boosts our immune system which is much needed in fighting the virus just in case.
  6. Wearing a mask will prevent me from getting infected
    Wearing a mask is certainly not a guarantee that you will not get sick. Viruses can also be transmitted through the eyes and tiny viral particles can penetrate masks. If you are likely to be in close contact with someone who is infected, then wearing a mask cuts the chance of the virus being passed on.
    However, if you have been diagnosed, wearing a mask can protect others. Ideally, masks are important for health, social workers and caregivers looking after a patient.
    Masks will make little difference if you are walking around town or riding in a bus. So let us avoid bulk buying and leave some for our health workers, shall we!
  7. It only kills old people. I am young so I should chill and live my best life
    Most people who are not elderly do not have underlying health conditions and will not become critically ill from the COVID-19, #FACTS. Chill though. The virus has a higher chance of leading to a serious illness at other risk groups e.g. Health workers, our parents, grandparents, who are the most vulnerable. The actions that we healthy young people take like following quarantine instructions, social distancing and reporting symptoms will play a major role in protecting the most vulnerable in the society and stop the virus from spreading. Let us pause the “part after part” for a while. We still have time to live our best lives and 2021 is our year. (Hopefully.)

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