What is COVID-19?

The current situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a worrying one as it sweeps across the globe. Discussions about COVID-19 are broadcast on every news channel, occupy the front page of every newspaper and is all over social media.  It’s essential that we are accurately informed to tackle this infectious disease.

For this reason, we have provided the most up to date evidence-based guidelines in this article to educate you on the correct hygiene practices and other measures which will help curtail the spread of COVID-19, so that they are clear and easily understood. There are also a list of links attached which explain these concepts and answer frequently asked questions. It’s important we abide by this advice, as we all have a role to play to ensure we “flatten the curve”.

 

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the viral disease caused by the most recently documented strain of the coronavirus family and was first diagnosed in 2019. Other members of this family include Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronavisuses are zoonotic, meaning that they can be transmitted between animals and humans. COVID-19 targets our respiratory tracts and lungs and can cause pneumonia. In severe cases, COVID-19 can be fatal. COVID-19 spreads during close person-to-person interaction via respiratory droplets emitted during coughing or sneezing

 

Advice and tips to avoid COVID-19:

1. Regularly wash/sanitise hands for 20 seconds after touching surfaces used for support & navigation.

2. Cough and sneeze into a tissue or elbow and dispose of tissue immediately.

3. Stay home if possible or wear gloves in public. Avoid public transport.

4. Avoid direct physical contact with others, maintaining 1-2 metres distance at all times.

5. Cough and sneeze into a tissue or elbow and dispose of tissue immediately.

6. Don’t hesitate to contact friends & family for help when necessary.

7. Take care of your mental and physical health.

8. Stay safe, stay well, stay informed!

 

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  1. Cough
  2. High temperature
  3. Fatigue

Breathing difficulties, chills, headaches, aches and pains are other frequently reported symptoms.

Symptoms can appear in a mild form, so it’s critically important we are informed and conscious of these symptoms and the risks to prevent the disease spreading, particularly to those who are most vulnerable:

      • Older adults, ~60 years +
      • People living with long term medical conditions and are immunocompromised e.g. Diabetes, HIV, Cancer
      • People living with chronic respiratory and cardiovascular conditions e.g. Asthma, Heart Disease, Lung Disease

 

If you are showing ANY of these symptoms, please self-isolate immediately and contact your doctor for advice on what to do next.

      • Do not leave your home.
      • Contact your doctor for advice.
      • Inform housemates that you are unwell and exclude yourself from any physical interaction.
      • Don’t share household items for fear of passing on virus.
      • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces every day
      • Avoid pets

 

Now, more than ever, we have an obligation to protect ourselves, as we look to mitigate the effects COVID-19.

Stay safe, stay well, stay home!

 

For further information about COVID-19 and healthy hygiene, check out the resources below:

WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

How to protect yourself from the coronavirus (Video)

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): United Nations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Key Facts

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