See These Safety Tips For Preventing Coronvirus Infection
In Africa now, it goes without saying that we all must be proactive and do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on the continent.
With more suspected and confirmed cases of the highly infectious coronavirus becoming revealed on the continent; it has become imperative that families and individuals take proactive steps to prevent the continuous spread of the virus. That's why we have compiled some tips to help with preventing coronavirus infection.
From its origins in a food market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019; to countries as far away as the United States and the Philippines, this virus has affected tens of thousands, with a rising death toll now over 4,000.
The disease comes from infection with the virus SARS-CoV-2. Last month, the World Health Organization named it COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 19. In spite of the global panic in the news about this virus, you’re unlikely to contract SARS-CoV-2; unless you’ve been in contact with someone who’s confirmed to have the virus.
Read on to learn how to prevent yourself from getting the virus; and how to prevent yourself from spreading the virus if you have it already.
Preventing Coronavirus Infection So You're Not Infected
You have heard that you should wash your hands with soap frequently. But there's a way to wash your hands effectively. And that is to wash them with soap for up to 20 seconds. How long is 20 seconds? About as long as it takes to sing your “ABCs.”
Have a look at other prevention tips below:
- Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth when your hands are dirty.
- Don’t go out if you’re feeling sick or have any cold or flu symptoms.
- Stay at least 3 feet away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow whenever you sneeze or cough.
- Throw away any tissues you use right away.
- Clean any objects you touch a lot. Use disinfectants on objects like phones, computers, utensils, dishware, and doorknobs.
Once the virus develops in people, coronaviruses spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. This is a technical name for the wet stuff that moves through the air when you cough or sneeze. The virus hangs out in these droplets and you can breathe it into the respiratory tract (your windpipe and lungs); where the virus can then lead to an infection.
You may have heard that the coronavirus is quite like the common cold or seasonal flu, but it is much more deadly. Doctors are learning new things about this virus every day. So far, we know that COVID-19 may not initially cause any symptoms. You may carry the virus for 2 days or up to 2 weeks before you notice symptoms.
Some common symptoms specifically linked to COVID-19 include:
- shortness of breath
- having a cough that gets more severe over time
- a low-grade fever that gradually increases in temperature
The full list of symptoms is still being investigated.
Preventing Coronavirus Infection In Others When You Have The Virus
There is a list of things you should do if you suspect that you have COVID-19. You will need medical care, but you need to first submit yourself to the state health authorities for testing. Between the time of your suspicions and your testing, stay isolated at home. It's called self-quarantine, and it means you're staying at home and avoiding crowds or large gatherings. Avoid public gatherings, and sneeze or cough into your elbow. Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
National and local authorities 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 facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
Talk to your doctor right away if you think you have COVID-19 or you notice symptoms. Your doctor will speak to local public health officials to provide guidance on whether testing for the virus is needed.
A lab technician will either draw a sample of your blood with a needle or use a cotton swab to take a small sample of saliva or respiratory secretions from your nose or the back of your throat.
The sample then goes to a testing facility to confirm the presence of viral material or antibodies that respond to the virus.
How To Prevent Covid-19: Treatment And Complications
There’s currently no treatment specifically approved for COVID-19, and no cure for an infection, although treatments and vaccines are currently under study. Instead, treatment focuses on managing symptoms as the virus runs its course.
Other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS do have vaccines and treatments. Some treatments for these similar viruses include:
- antiviral or retroviral medications
- breathing support, such as mechanical ventilation
- steroids to reduce lung swelling
- blood plasma transfusions
The most serious complication of a SARS-CoV-2 infection is a type of pneumonia: 2019 novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia (NCIP).
Results from a 2020 study of 138 people admitted into hospitals in Wuhan, China, with NCIP found that 26 per cent of those admitted had severe cases and needed to be treated in the intensive care unit (ICU).
About 4.3 per cent of these people in the ICU died from this type of pneumonia. So far, NCIP is the only complication specifically linked to the 2019 coronavirus. Researchers have seen the following complications in people who developed COVID-19:
- acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
- irregular heart rate (arrhythmia)
- cardiovascular shock
- severe muscle pain (myalgia)
- heart damage or heart attack