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Background of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Background of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Coronaviruses are a large family of RNA viruses that infect birds and many
mammals including humans. These viruses cause illnesses that range from common
cold to more severe respiratory diseases and rarely gastroenteritis. Coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) is caused by an emerging strain of coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2)
that has not been previously identified in humans, belonging to the same family
of viruses responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle
East respiratory syndrome (MERS), for which zoonotic and person- to-person
transmission have been confirmed.
Person-to-person transmission has been established between people who are
in close contact with one another (within about 2 metres/6 feet), primarily
via respiratory droplets. Droplet transmission occurs when respiratory droplets
generated via coughing, sneezing or talking contact susceptible mucosal surfaces,
such as the eyes, nose or mouth. Transmission may also occur indirectly via contact
with contaminated fomites with hands and then mucosal surfaces. Respiratory
droplets are large and are not able to remain suspended in the air thus they are
usually dispersed over short distances.
Since the declaration of COVID-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International
Concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 2020, the Nigerian Government has closely
monitored the ongoing outbreak which originated in Wuhan, China.
This document has been developed as a guide for the management of COVID-19
cases in Nigeria.

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