Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has grappled the world with its fatal nature. So far the virus has affected people across 120 countries, including China – the country from which the virus originated. Confirmed cases of coronavirus are almost 130,000, reported fatalities are 4,700 across the world as of 13 March 2020.
Since coronavirus 2019 is a respiratory illness, the virus majorly uses air as its carrier. When an infected person coughs or sneezes the virus infects the atmosphere. Breathing this air can infect others. One can get infected by touching surfaces with infected particles on it and then touching the mouth, lips or nose.
The average lifespan of the virus on the surface is lesser than air. Lifespan depends on factors like temperature, humidity, and type of surface.
As fast as the virus is spreading so is the misinformation regarding its infection, prevention, control. During this time of world health crisis, we need to stay informed and cautious to keep ourself and our families safe.
Basics to keep yourself and your family safe from the coronavirus
Here are the things you must follow in your day to day life to stay safe.
1. Wash your hands
Washing your hands as often as possible is important since they come in contact with various surfaces. Thoroughly wash your hands with regular soap and water. Keep an alcohol-based sanitizer handy for a more viable way to keep your hands clean.
2. Limit social interactions
WHO asks to maintain 3-feet-distance from people who are sneezing and coughing. Don’t shake hands, hug, or make any other kind of physical contacts while greeting someone.
3. Do not touch your eyes, mouth and nose
If you have gotten viruses on your hand by touching any compromised surface you put yourself at high risk by touching your eyes, mouth and nose. The virus can pass through your eyes, mouth and nose and go inside your body to infect you.
4. Be cautious with livestock
There is uncertainty if the virus comes from animals. But, WHO advises, as a general precaution to practice general hygiene measures while visiting live animal markets, wet markets or animal product markets. As a good food safety measure, raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with caution, to avoid probable cross-contamination from these foods. Fresh meat from healthy livestock which is cooked thoroughly is safe to eat.
5. Stay educated on infection, prevention and control
When these basics are followed, some of the other factors you need to be aware of are
- Infection prevention and control in public places like the workplace
- Common symptoms and modes of transmission
- Standard precautionary measures for infection control
- Identification and reporting situations that pose as potential risk
- How to be more responsible for infection control
Educate yourself on infection, prevention and control of Coronavirus 2019 with this 15-min course
Sentrient’s online course: Infection Prevention and Control, has been curated with the help of credible resources such as the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, Australian Government Department of Health and Smartraveller. This course gives you all the necessary precautionary and control measures that you need to keep yourself and your family safe and more importantly to do the right thing.