Ho Ching Educates Public On Novel Coronavirus, Might Help Us Protect Ourselves More Effectively

If you are still confused over what exactly is the coronavirus and how it might affect your body, you might want to read this informative Facebook post by Mdm Ho Ching.

On 4 Feb, she shared a few quick facts about the novel coronavirus with her Facebook friends.

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This is in hopes that the public will be more aware of the science behind it, considering it is still a relatively unfamiliar term to many Singaporeans.

Perhaps the relevant knowledge can help us identify misinformation with the influx of updates we get daily, so we can better protect ourselves.

We broke down her long post into simple points. Here’s Wuhan Virus 101 with Ho Ching.

Ho Ching explains the difference between a virus & bacteria

She first debunks an article about a British man claiming to cure himself of the coronavirus without medication, including antibiotics doctors had prescribed.

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However, according to her, antibiotics are not the right medication as they are not designed to treat viruses at all.

Instead, doctors use antibiotics to eliminate bacteria, and antivirals to treat patients with viruses.

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While bacteria can reproduce on their own, a virus needs to hinge on other living organisms to multiply.

The novel coronavirus falls under the latter.

Difference between a coronavirus & the common flu

Alongside SARS and MERS, the new virus is seen as more transmittable and deadly compared to the common flu.

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According to Ho Ching, coronaviruses can enter our bodies and go all the way to our lungs and infect vital body cells.

This differs from common flu viruses that normally only invade cells in the upper respiratory tracts, that is our mouths, nasal passages, and throats.

Passed on via eyes, nose, mouth and even faeces

The virus, she explains, resides in the carrier’s saliva, spittle, and even faeces.

Infected individuals can then spread it by coughing, sneezing or spitting, the last of which commonly occurs when one talks enthusiastically.

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Coming into contact with the virus via these substances is thus easy.

The transmission might then happen if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth, a gateway for the virus to enter the body.

From there, the possibility of the virus travelling inside our body to our stomachs and intestine tracts may then cause symptoms like stomachaches and diarrhoea, which Ho Ching claims SARS and Wuhan virus patients have experienced.

Their fecal and even urinary discharge may contain the virus, though proper sewage systems in cities generally mean transmission via this method is less likely.

Encourages Singaporeans to clean hands properly

As such, Ho Ching emphasises the importance of washing our hands with soap and making it a good habit.

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This precautionary measure could eliminate potential virus particles on your hands, if done frequently and with soap.

Also, do remember to wash your hands before putting on face masks and after taking them off.

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Hopefully Coronvairus 101 with Ho Ching can help to clarify any misconceptions you may have about the infection.

By equipping ourselves with proper understanding, we might be more motivated to adopt better habits to protect ourselves.

Featured images adapted from Elsevier and The Business Times.