With the news of the Coronavirus plaguing continent after continent since its discovery, one can only wonder: just how potent is this thing? If staying indoors and washing your hands are good enough to keep it at bay, then why are thousands of people still falling ill to this sickness?
Let’s first try to understand what this notorious disease is all about so we have a broader idea on its prevention.
Coronaviruses are a zoonotic collection of diseases that range from the ordinary cold to more deadly respiratory illnesses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). It is zoonotic because it’s transferred between animals to humans either through direct consumption or through other forms of physical contact.
The novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a strain that has been recently discovered among residents of Wuhan, China after an outbreak at a public market left thousands of locals infected with the disease.
It is most commonly spread by people already infected with the virus through coughing or sneezing, but it is also known to survive on different types of surfaces for long periods of time.
While keeping proper hygiene can greatly reduce the risk of contracting the disease, here a few must-know tips on how to effectively stay in the clear.
Have clean hands.
You may hear this often but washing your hands to prevent the spread of the virus could not be stressed enough. Wet, lather, rinse, scrub and dry; five simple steps that take at least 20 seconds of your time but could mean the difference between sickness and health. Make sure to wash with anti-bacterial soap and always keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you when you’re out of the house.
Exercise coughing and sneezing etiquette.
It’s common practice to cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. And while it’s all that’s really asked of you, it’s always better to take it a step further and keep a clean stash of disposable napkins at the ready.
It’s best not to put yourself in places or situations where you have to be around a lot of people. But if it can’t be helped, maintain at least a meter of distance from the people around you to ensure that you don’t expose yourself to any risks of contracting the disease.
Refrain from touching your face.
With the virus thriving on just about any surface imaginable, it would be safe to say that keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth would be a logical thing to do. Be mindful of any triggers or habits that would make you touch your face such as scratching your nose or rubbing your eyes.
Self-quarantine and get yourself checked for any symptoms.
This applies if you’re feeling unwell. Stay at home, keep hydrated and maintain a good distance from your loved ones. If it’s just a light cold, it isn’t advisable to go to a doctor just yet so you don’t put yourself from further contamination. Opt to get checked immediately when you feel like you’ve developed more serious symptoms.