How to protect yourself from Coronavirus?

Date: 02/15/2020

Health stream | Health Talk

By K Patel, MD, MPH

Since the discovery of Coronavirus cases in China, its infection is spreading rapidly in China and around the world. Following are the prevention strategies that can help to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus and similar contagious respiratory viruses:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick:

When a sick person coughs, sneezes or clean their secretions, virus particles may be present on their hands, clothes or surrounding air in form of droplets (tiny particles carrying the virus in air).

Hand Hygiene:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. Keeping the hands clean is the most important thing you can do to prevent any infection.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth without washing your hands:

As you touch different surfaces, your hands get contaminated with various germs. Touching your eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands, increase the chance of getting infection.

Stay home when you are sick:

Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in trash and wash your hands with soap and water. Clean and disinfect commonly touched objects, surfaces to remove the germs. When you get sick, try your best to prevent others from getting sick!

Use Facemask only if you are sick:

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear facemask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including novel Coronavirus. Facemask should be used by people who show symptoms of 2019 novel coronavirus, in order to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone sick in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

Until we get a vaccine or cure for coronavirus which is actively being researched, the best approach for now is prevention with these basic strategies.

Be safe!

Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)



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