COVID-19: The Third Wave Has Come
SARS-CoV-2 has caused over 4.03 million deaths in the world by 12th July 2021. The disease was on downward trend in the UK. However, the number of cases is now increasing despite high levels of vaccination. In Kenya, the disease has come in phases. Kenya has had three phases; the cases had declined due to the lockdown in the Country. However, the cases are now increasing in areas around Lake Victoria. Uganda which had a strict lockdown is also experiencing a surge in cases and the hospitals are stretched. Congo is having a similar crisis.
The surge in cases in Kenya and Uganda is due to relaxation of personal preventive measures by members of the public and the community spread of the SARS-Cov-2 (corona virus) Delta variant (previously called the Indian variant).
The Delta variant spreads much rapidly then previous variants and is much more severe with extremely high oxygen requirements. The spread of the Delta variant in India caused sufferings with some States running out of oxygen. The Delta variant is also spreading rapidly in Britain. According to Imperial College studies 60% of cases in Britain in May were due to the Delta variant and it is expected that by end of June 2021, 90% of cases will be due to the Delta variant.
The Ministry of Health in Kenya has predicted that a peak in cases will occur in July 2021. There is already community transmission of the virus in Kisumu, Nairobi, and Mombasa.
The symptoms of the disease are:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty in breathing
- Abdominal upset with diarrhea and vomiting
- Red eyes
- Loss of appetite
The definitive diagnosis can be made by a nasopharyngeal swab (nose and throat swab) and doing a PCR test.
Children are as susceptible as adults and older individuals to develop infection, but not severe disease. The common symptoms among children might include fever, cough, breathlessness or shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, myalgia (muscle pains, aches, pain in ligaments), rhinorrhea (excess drainage, ranging from a clear fluid to thick mucus from the nose), diarrhoea, loss of smell, loss of taste. Meanwhile, few children might also show symptoms of gastrointestinal issues.
Children who are asymptomatic Covid-19 positive can be managed at home. They require monitoring for the development of symptoms and subsequent treatment. Meanwhile, children with mild disease may have a sore throat, cough, or little breathing issues that do not require any investigation. It is recommended that such children should be managed at home with home isolation and symptomatic treatment.
Prevention of COVID-19
- Wear a mask properly. It should cover both the nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water.
- Keep social distance. Maintain distance of 1.5 meters from each other
- Avoid crowded places and places with poor ventilation.
- Eat healthy food.
- Exercise. People who exercise get a less severe form of the disease.
- Avoid hand shaking and hugging people.
- If you suspect you have COVID-19, get tested and isolate yourself to prevent spreading to others.
CHB – YOUR HEALTH IS OUR PRIORITY
Central Health Board (CHB)
12th July 2021