With the announcement of coronavirus becoming a pandemic, it’s best to make sure you are correctly informed on the subject. It’s important to not let panic become the best of you, analyze the situation with a calm head and take the correct precautions. Here is a little more information about the virus and what precautions to take.
What is Coronavirus?
- Coronaviruses (CoV) (click link for more detailed information on the disease) are a large family of viruses, most harmless, that are common in people and animals.
- Animal coronaviruses can rarely infect people and then spread between people.
- Coronaviruses can be divided into 4 groups – alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.
- Gamma and delta strains mainly affect birds where the alpha and beta reside in mammals.
- CoV cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) – both beta coronaviruses.
- SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the disease known widely as the ‘novel coronavirus 2019’ or Covid-19.
How to Prevent Contracting the Disease?
To prevent contraction of the disease you need to be aware of how it spreads:
- The virus is spread from person to person.
- It is spread through close contact (people within 6ft.)
- Spread through respiratory droplets produced when a person with the disease coughs or sneezes.
- There are reports of the virus spreading without someone having contracted the disease, though this is not the main cause for the spread.
- There is a possibility of the disease being contracted by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
- Symptoms take between 5 and up to 24 days to kick in.
- High temperature.
- Breathing difficulties.
Steps for prevention:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot/warm water (for at least 20 seconds).
- If soap and water not readily available, hand sanitizers (60%) alc. will do the job.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- If Covid-19 seems to be spreading in your community home isolation may be a good idea.
- High intake of vitamin C and proteins. A strong immune system is vital!
- Healthy diet. If your body is strong it will fight off the disease even if contracted.
How to prevent spreading the disease?
If you or someone close to you has contracted the disease (or any kind of illness that weakens the immune system) it’s best to self-quarantine. Here are a few tips for the prevention of spreading illness:
- If you are sick and have no underlying diseases, self-isolate (except in cases where medical care is needed).
- If you have to leave the house, bring thick tissues to cough and sneeze into. Always cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing!
- Dispose of used tissues responsibly.
- Wash your hands at the first available moment after coughing or sneezing.
- Wear a face mask (only if you’re sick!) when in public – doctor’s office, public transport, etc.
- If you are unable to wear a face mask due to breathing problems always cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.
- If you are NOT sick do not wear a face mask. They are in short supply and caregivers need them.
- Clean and disinfect regularly any surfaces and objects you use.
For disinfecting use:
– Alcohol solutions (at least 70% alcohol).
– Other EPA-registered household disinfectants.
Do Not Panic!
The situation is not as bad as the media reports are making out. Yes, you should take precautions, no, you should not panic. Why?
- It is a proven fact that stress levels have a huge impact on your immune system.
- 350,000,000 recorded cases of the flu in America last year with 250,000 deaths.
- There are roughly 120,000 cases of Covid-19.
- The death rate is a mere 3,4% at the moment.
- Only 6% become critically ill, 14% develop severe symptoms and 80% of cases only have mild symptoms.