How to Prevent from Coronavirus [COVID-19]
As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continues to rise, doctors have been advising about how best to prevent the transmission of the disease that affects the lungs. There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, authorities always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
Wash your hands
According to doctors, the best way to prevent the coronavirus is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. The main mode of transmission is hand to mouth, eye, or nose contact.
Hand washing: how often?
- The list of scenarios in which you should wash your hands is longer than you’d think. It includes each time you blow your nose, each time you sneeze, and before you touch your face.
- Other times to scrub include before and after cooking, before and after eating, each time you come within six feet of a sick person, and before and after caring for a sick person.
- Then there’s after touching or feeding an animal, after touching animal waste, after touching garbage, after changing a baby’s diaper, and, of course, after using the toilet.
Hand Washing Tips
- Make your hands wet with water and use a quarter-sized amount of soap to build up a lather. Note that the temperature of the water makes no difference—feel free to use hot or cold.
- Use the lathered soap to scrub under your nails, between your fingers, the backs of your hands, and your wrists. You should wash your hands for around 20 seconds in total.
- If you find it difficult to time 20 seconds in your head, humming or even singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song should have you scrubbing for the right length of time.
- Once you’re done with the scrubbing, be sure to rinse your hands under running water until all the soap is gone.
- After washing your hands, use a paper towel to turn off the tap. This is very important as it will help to avoid recontamination.
- Dry your hands using an air dryer or, where possible, a paper towel.
- If you’re using a public bathroom, it is also important to open the door using a paper towel. This will help further to prevent recontamination.
- Where it is not possible to wash your hands using water and soap, doctors have said that hand sanitizer is an acceptable alternative.
- The sanitizer used should be at least 60% alcohol and should be rubbed into the hands until they are completely dry.
- This will usually take around 20 seconds, so get that ‘Happy Birthday’ song going in your head again!
Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose, & Mouth
Your hands can pick up viruses from the many surfaces they come into contact with. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, since you risk transferring the virus.
Maintain Social Distance
It is important to keep at least one meter (100 cm) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
When a person coughs or sneezes, liquid droplets are released that may contain the virus. If you are too close, you risk breathing these droplets in.
Avoid Public Transport
- Buses, trams, and trains are notorious for high virus transmission rates, since people are in a closed environment and often in close proximity to one another.
- If possible, it’s a good idea to avoid public transport altogether—walking and cycling carry a lesser risk.
- If you do have to use public transport, always make sure to use hand sanitizer before and after the journey, and avoid touching your face with your hands.
Practice Respiratory Hygiene
Whenever you cough or sneeze, be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow. If you use a tissue, always discard it immediately.
Since doctors are still learning about this new strain of the coronavirus, it is important to stay up to date with the latest developments. Be sure to follow advice from your healthcare provider and your national or local health authority about how to prevent transmission of the virus and to keep yourself and others healthy. Important guidelines including
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- 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 you feel unwell
If you feel unwell, it’s important to stay at home. You should seek medical attention if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
It is important to follow the instructions of your local health authority, since they will have the most up-to-date information about the situation in your area.
Your local health authority will be able to provide the best information about who to call for medical attention.