Viral infections play an important role in human diseases, and recent outbreaks in the advent of globalization and ease of travel have underscored their prevention as a critical issue in safeguarding public health. Despite the progress made in immunization and drug development, many viruses lack preventive vaccines and efficient antiviral therapies, which are often beset by the generation of viral escape mutants. Thus, identifying novel antiviral drugs is of critical importance and natural products are an excellent source for such discoveries.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, and has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include muscle pain, sputum production, diarrhea, sore throat, loss of smell, and abdominal pain. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure. As of 28 March 2020, the overall rate of deaths per number of diagnosed cases is 4.6 percent; ranging from 0.2 percent to 15 percent according to age group and other health problems. In comparison, the overall mortality rate of the 1918 Spanish Flu were approximately 3% to 5%.
Recommended measures to prevent infection include frequent hand washing, social distancing (maintaining physical distance from others, especially from those with symptoms), covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or inner elbow, and keeping unwashed hands away from the face. The use of masks is recommended for those who suspect they have the virus and their caregivers. Recommendations for mask use by the general public vary, with some authorities recommending against their use, some recommending their use, and others requiring their use. Currently, there is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19 which is what has led to the rising up of certain individuals suggesting possible vaccines and treatment of this pandemic, an example of such individuals is a Nigerian artiste called ‘Sammie Cross’.
Sammie Cross is a microbiologist turn musician and he has expressed that he feels contrite about not practicing the Microbiology he read in school. Says the cure to the pandemic covid-19 is not far fetched from Africa Herbs. Advices the health agencies to look into herbs for cure to notorious Corona Virus.
Another personality who believes in African herbs is His Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of Ife. According to him, the following herbs are potent enough to heal anyone down with the virus: Boundary tree leaves (Botanical name- Newbouldia laevis, Yoruba – Ewe Akoko), Neem leave and fruits or Indian lilac (Botanical – Azadirachta indica, Yoruba- ewe dogoyaro), onion (Botanical name – Allium cepa; Yoruba – Alubosa), forest anchomanes (Botanical name – Anchomanes difformis, Yoruba -Ogirisako); aridan (Botanical name – Tetrapleura tetraptera) African pepper/Ngero pepper/Guinea pepper (Botanical name – Xylopia aethiopica, Yoruba Eeru or Erinje); Bitter leaf (Botanical name – Vernonia amygdalina, Yoruba – Ewuro, Sulfur (Yoruba – Iyin Ojo).
Although there is no scientific proof that the herbs have or will work against coronavirus, Ooni insisted that “I have used it and also used it for some of the chronic Corona patients with testimonials.”
Sammie Cross actually believes that if he had practiced the microbiology which he learnt in school, he would have been more than capable of referring or prescribing local herbs that can curb the virus. Cross is outrightly throwing a challenge to all Nigerian scientists out there to do something about the virus.
On the other hand, Sammie Cross who is signed to PM records is set to release his new track titled ‘Mogbe’. The track promises to be all shades of Sammie as he had proven in time past his capability in releasing melodic oeuvres.