In 2019, a new strain of coronavirus, coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has been discovered. It has signs and symptoms that include fever, cough, shortness of breath and, in severe cases, could cause acute respiratory syndrome, pneumonia, kidney failure, and worse, death.
Below are the 10 steps to help prevent the spread of this deadly disease.
1. Avoid close contact with people that are sick
You’ll never know if a family or friend has been infected by coronavirus unless diagnosed. So if you know someone who is sick, especially those showing respiratory symptoms and fever, it is better to avoid any close contact with them for your protection too.
2. Limit or avoid touching your face
When you are in public places, you tend to touch surfaces and objects where viral particles might be present like doors, grocery cart, escalator siderails or tables. So avoiding to touch your face can help reduce the risk of acquiring this virus.
3. Use hand sanitizer
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol at least) because lower alcohol concentration is not that effective to kill germs. Though handwashing is still the best, you can opt to use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not readily available.
4. Wash hands regularly
Washing of hands is a very important precautionary measure against any type of illness. Remember to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before eating and after going to the bathroom. Coronavirus is not a bacterium, so you don’t need antibacterial soap.
5. Disinfect surfaces
There’s a possibility to catch the virus by touching surfaces touched by an infected person after coughing into their hand. At home, the most common surfaces are the refrigerator handles, remote controls, countertops and doorknobs, so these should be disinfected regularly with water and household detergent.
6. Clean hand towels
Wash your hand towels, too.
7. Wear masks
Wear a mask when you are sick to prevent spreading of virus. The World health organization has a recommendation about when to use a mask and the correct way to wear and dispose it.
8. Minimize travel
It is advisable to cancel any future trips and avoid travel if you are sick. This can help minimize or stop the spread of viruses. If you are healthy, it is also better to minimize travel to keep yourself away from acquiring any illnesses.
9. Seek medical attention
The question is … when is the best time to seek medical care? People with mild symptoms like mild cough and flu usually just treat themselves at home. Follow your local guidelines of how and when to go to the doctor or hospital, especially if you’ve traveled to areas affected by coronavirus.
10. Stay informed
Don’t disregard any information about this outbreak. It is still best to keep yourself informed about any updates about coronavirus. But also be vigilant not to absorb fake news or misinformation from social media as these can build up fears and panic. To know reliable updates, you can check the CDC website, WHO or your local health resources.