CORONAVIRUS THE FACTS
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019?
Coronaviruses are large groups of viruses that are common amongst animals. These viruses can transfer from animals and infect humans. They cause humans to become sick usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness. These symptoms are similar to the common cold.
A New Coronavirus discovered in 2019.
A new coronavirus called COVID-19 was identified in the City of Wuhan, China. This disease is new to the world and is associated with an outbreak of pneumonia spreading across the globe at an alarming rate of infection. It’s an invisible killer. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a pandemic on the 12 March 2020.
How it Spreads
Covid-19 spread by close personal contact.
Photograph by aranxa-esteve – via Unsplash
COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads and why the illness is more severe in certain cases where patients have no underlying illness and may be young!
The most common way it spreads is thought to be person-to-person.
- Close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands
- Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person talks coughs or sneezes.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet or 1.8 meters). WHO states a min of 3 feet or 1 meter is sufficient as of 18th March 2020. Recent research, however, shows that respiratory droplets could spread a lot further. Especially when coughing and sneezing. It is speculated that it may be as far as 16 feet or 5 meters or even more. The researchers are still gather information on this an is not conclusive yet!
- These droplets can land on the face, eyes, in the mouths and noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. These people are asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic patients as per WHO situation report 73 .
- Maintaining a physical distance (about 6 feet) is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Covid-19 spread by touching surfaces and objetcts.
Photograph by MabelAmber – via Pixabay
Spread by touching contaminated surfaces or objects
A less intrusive way it spreads is through direct surface and object contact.
- It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own facial area, mouth, nose, or their eyes.
Prevention and Protection
Covid-19 Basic prevention and protection measures.
Photograph by aranxa-esteve – via Unsplash
There is currently no vaccine available in the world to protect you against COVID-19 infection. Researchers are working on developing a Vaccine and estimate it will be between 12 to 18 months before one is approved for human use.
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub/sanitizer kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain physical distancing
Avoid close contact with infected people. Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing as they may be infected.
Why? When someone that may be infected coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose and mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has been infected with the disease.
Avoid touching with unwashed hands, eyes, nose, and mouth
Why? The virus is invisible. We cannot see if they are on surfaces or objects. Therefore by touching surfaces and can pick up the virus. Once our hands are contaminated, we can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Always follow good respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose/throw away the used tissue in a closed bin immediately.
Why? To stop the spread as infected droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect those around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
STAY AT HOME – SELF ISOLATE
Photographs by : iXimus ; Gerd Altmann via Pixabay
Stay at home if you have mild flu-like symptoms or even if you are not sick
- Have your local doctor, closest hospital telephone number close at hand or emergency contact number. e.g – 911
- Stay home if you feel well unless you are an essential worker.
- Stay home if you feel unwell with mild flu symptoms, headache, mild fever or cough until you recover for at least 7 days. No need to self isolate if you stay at home.
- If your physical condition changes form mild symptoms to full-blown symptoms and you feeling very sick you run a fever, coughing, have difficulty breathing then seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. Inform them of any travel in the last 14 days or contact you may have had with people who have travelled locally and abroad.
Why? National and local authorities and emergency will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health care facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.