The COVID-19 Outbreak has affected the world tremendously. Global death counts are already high, and cases keep on increasing. We have an important announcement related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement will help you understand the nature of COVID-19 in order to protect yourself from it.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is just one part of a large family of viruses. These viruses may cause illness in animals or humans. Some of the coronavirus-related ailments affecting humans are common colds, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the recently discovered coronavirus. Before the Wuhan Outbreak in December 2019, the virus was virtually unknown.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
It’s easy to mistake the symptoms of COVID-19 as colds, flu, or plain lethargy. To avoid confusion, here are the common symptoms that you should be aware of:
- Dry cough
- Joint and body aches
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
Note: Up to 80% of people recover from the disease without any need for special treatment. However, some people will end up seriously ill and develop breathing difficulties. These people are most likely senior citizens and the ones with underlying medical problems like hypertension, heart problems, and diabetes.
People with fever and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
People can catch the COVID-19 virus from others who are infected. Listed below are the common transmission methods of the COVID-19 virus:
- Droplets from nose and mouth – through coughing or exhalation
- Touching the surface where the virus still lives
- Touching any part of the face – especially eyes, nose, or mouth
Reminder: The COVID-19 droplets are not fully airborne. The droplets will fall on the ground at 10 feet away, so it’s important to stay more than 3 feet away from a sick person.
What Can I Do to Protect My Family and Me from COVID-19?
It’s essential to stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak through your national and local public health authorities.
To reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19, here are some simple precautions:
- 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 kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or 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 the disease.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? 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. Why? 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 direct you to the right health facility quickly. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
- Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid travelling to places – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart, or lung disease.
Why? You have a higher chance of catching COVID-19 in one of these areas.
Here are the protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is rampant:
- Follow the guidance outlined above (Protection measures for everyone)
- Self-isolate by staying at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low-grade fever (37.3 C or above), and a slight runny nose until you recover. If it is essential for you to have someone bring you supplies or to go out, e.g., to buy food, then wear a mask to avoid infecting other people. Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
- If you develop fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travellers.
Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to direct you to the right health facility quickly. This will also help to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
We also encourage our patients to visit Canada’s Public Health website for additional information.