Why the Coronavirus should worry us all

Source(s)
Inter Press Service International Association

By Ifeanyi Nsofor, medical doctor, the CEO of EpiAFRIC, Director of Policy and Advocacy for Nigeria Health Watch

The coronavirus outbreak — which began in Wuhan, China, and causes a pneumonia-like illness — is raging across Asia, infecting close to 300 people and killing four. It was initially known to be transmitted from animals to human, and was just confirmed to be transmitted from human to human.

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The rapid nature of its origin and speed in transmission reminds us that national security is threatened when a pathogen can travel from a remote village to major cities on all continents in 36 hours. Therefore, global health security should be given the same priority as national security.

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First, increased screening at international borders using computerized thermal cameras should be intensified. No one should be exempt from this screening no matter how highly placed they are.

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Second, prepare for the spread of fake news on infectious diseases and be proactive about pushing out the right information to counter it. Community education is very important, especially at this time when the infection is raging. People are scared and can easily fall prey to fake news.

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