The Coronavirus pandemic has gripped the world and the World Health Organization has confirmed more than 200,000 cases over 166 countries, regions or territories at the time of writing. The CDC has reported over 7000 confirmed cases within the United States and 97 deaths. The virus is transmitted primarily from person to person through close contact or through respiratory droplets from coughing/sneezing. The Coronavirus infects people everywhere regardless of age, climate, region, etc. Since there is currently no vaccine for the COVID-19, it is highly recommended to avoid being exposed to the virus. That said, if you are showing any symptoms or if you think you have been infected, consider the following steps.
Contact your local health authority
If you show any symptoms or feel sick, contact your doctor in advance to plan your visit. A visit to the hospital without prior information or an appointment could put others and you at risk of infection.
Wear a mask
COVID-19 is mostly transmitted through respiratory droplets. If you are sick, it is recommended you wear a mask to prevent the spreading of infection. If you have trouble breathing with the mask on, request your caregivers to wear a mask when around you.
If you are tested positive and are mildly ill with COVID-19, it is possible to recover at home. Only step out for medical attention. Avoid public areas, public transport or mass gatherings at all costs as it can lead to community transmission.
Exposing family of friends to yourself can increase the risk of transmission. Caregivers must wear masks when close by. Isolate yourself from people and designate one room within the house as a recovery room. Ideally, using a separate bathroom too is advised. Furthermore, if there are pets at home, restrict contact with them as well. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest animals could get sick with Coronavirus however, it is recommended to avoid contact until further research.
Cover your coughs/sneezes
Cough or sneeze into a tissue and immediately dispose of it in a closed bin. Ensure you cover your nose and mouth entirely to restrict respiratory droplets from escaping. Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands and try to cover yourself with your flexed arm.
Wash your hands regularly
To avoid the spread of infection, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least twenty seconds. This is all the more important if you have sneezed or coughed, touched potentially contaminated surfaces, before food and after going to the bathroom. You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. As an added precaution avoid touching your face – eyes, nose or mouth.
While indoors, there are many surfaces that can be regarded as ‘high-touch’ surfaces. These include doorknobs, handles, taps, keyboards, tablets, cellphones, remotes, tabletops, etc. Ask a caregiver to disinfect surfaces like these with a disinfectant while wearing gloves and a mask. Also disinfect areas that might have blood, stool or body fluids and residues on them. Here is a full list of EPA recommended disinfectants against viruses.
It is essential for an infected person to recover successfully without further transmitting the disease. And most importantly, do not panic and do not spread panic.
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