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VIRUSES
GLOMAC WANTS TOO MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE THE BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF CORONAVIRUS AND WHAT YOU CAN DO IN YOUR HOMES
How do you catch it?
It spreads from person to person and there have also been some reports that the virus may spread before symptoms show.
It’s spread in exactly the same way as flu and colds are – by droplet transmission, where infected micro-droplets of fluid are breathed in by people near an infected person who coughs or sneezes beside them.
Just as important is transmission by touch, when someone touches a hard contaminated surface such as a door handle or passenger pole on a train or bus and then touches their own face.
How dangerous is it?
The death rate of this variant of the infection has fluctuated as the numbers change. The current death rate is approaching 4% (3.4%). The good news is that it looks like it has a lower mortality than SARS.
Plus we’re in good shape in that only 15% or so of infected people require intensive treatment.
We have a diagnostic test that tells us who’s infected and almost from the beginning there has been transparency from the Chinese authorities. That’s essential because no one can deal with a potential pandemic in one country alone.
Who’s affected by it?
Middle-aged and older people appear to be affected in greater numbers than children or younger adults but all age groups are at risk.
People with any long-term medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease are more vulnerable than average, as are people in the older age group.
If you are in these categories for instance, make sure you take all your heart medications and test your blood sugar regularly, stick to your diet and take antidiabetic drugs.
What are the symptoms?
The first symptoms of infection are classical flu symptoms, with sore throat, high temperature, headache, cough and sore muscles.
The virus can cause a fairly rapid onset acute pneumonia with sudden worsening of symptoms and difficulty breathing when a person should be hospitalised as soon as possible.
In a group of 100 people with the virus, 81 will have only mild symptoms, 14 will get severe symptoms and five will become critically ill.
The incubation period is 14 days, which is why people are quarantined for that length of time to see if symptoms emerge and they test positive but some experts say it may be longer than 14 days.
Standard flu treatment would be symptomatic relief for headaches (paracetamol), fever (the same), cough (decongestant) and staying in bed until the fever has subsided.
Severe symptoms should be dealt with by phoning your GP and not moving out of self-quarantine.
Your GP will guide you as to whether your symptoms are severe enough to warrant hospital admission.
One should always be on the lookout for the development of shortness of breath and a spike in temperature as this could mean pneumonia, where an ambulance should be called.
What’s your risk?
The risk to anyone in who hasn’t had contact with outright infections of coronavirus or suspected cases remains low and we shouldn’t be unduly anxious.
Most experts believe there’s no need to wear a mask as it does little to provide protection against any virus.
What to do if you think you have the virus?
Don’t panic, the chances are you have a fairly mild illness
Keep washing your hands thoroughly and frequently
Self-quarantine
Make a list of the people you’ve been in contact with in the past week so you can supply their names to the authorities
If you belong to a vulnerable group i.e. you have a chronic medical condition like diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, or you’re in an older age group, be on the lookout for an attack of flu-like symptoms and have a plan of action with your family.
If you develop shortness of breath call an ambulance.
How do you self-quarantine?
Since this outbreak began we’ve heard the words self-quarantine and, other than being shut in your house, few know what it means. It isn’t simply house arrest where you can move around your house from room to room freely, it’s much more rigid than that.
Self-quarantining is the single most powerful weapon we have in containing an outbreak among us. It means you have to stay in one room, with the door closed. You don’t mix with other people, you don’t see anyone or have any visitors.
You don’t use common parts of the house like the kitchen, you have your food delivered and it’s left outside of your house for you to collect. When you use the bathroom and toilet you do so after everyone else and you have your own soap and towels kept separate from everyone else’s.
You collect your own rubbish and it’s put into double plastic bags before you put it outside for collection.
Is there a vaccine?
Research groups all over the world are working at great speed to develop a vaccine. Our best estimate is one could be available towards the end of the year but probably not sooner.
However, a vaccine would hold out the greatest promise of our being able to prevent this virus from becoming a dangerous pandemic.
How can you protect yourself?
The most important precaution we can take is to be meticulous about hand washing and that includes children. That means washing your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
If you cough, always cover your mouth then wash your hands, and if you have to sneeze do so into the crook of your elbow. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if at all possible (to prevent viral transmission from the hands to the face) and disinfect any surfaces you regularly touch.
Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health , told the Mirror of the first Irish case, “This is not unexpected. We have been preparing for this eventuality for many weeks now.
“Public health protocols have been in place since January and are operating effectively.
“How coronavirus may be spread
Coronavirus is spread in the droplets produced when a person who has the virus coughs or sneezes.
It can spread if you:
come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing
touch surfaces that someone with the virus has coughed or sneezed on

Protect yourself from getting coronavirus
Things you can do to protect yourself from getting coronavirus vice is well used to managing infectious diseases and has robust response measures in place.”
Dr. John Cuddihy, Director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, added, "The HSE is now working rapidly to identify any contacts the patient may have had, to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread.
“It is important include:
wash your hands properly and regularly
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze
follow the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs if travelling to China
You do not need to use a face mask.
Wash your hands
Wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub:
after coughing or sneezing
after toilet use
before eating
before and after preparing food
if you are in contact with a sick person, especially those with respiratory symptoms
if your hands are dirty
if you have handled animals or animal waste
Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. If you have to sneeze or cough:
cover your nose and mouth with disposable tissues
if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your arm or sleeve (not hand)
put used tissues into a sealed bin
wash your hands

droplets from coughing or sneezing), or by touching surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on.
"The general public is advised to follow advice from the HSE and the Health Protection surveillance Centre to protect their health.
"Any person concerned that they may have symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) should immediately isolate themselves from others and contact their EMERGENCY SERVICE by phone.
The most effective way to avoid catching the virus is to cover coughs and sneezes, practice good self hygiene, and regular hand-washing too.

Wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub:

· after coughing or sneezing

· after toilet use

· before eating

· before and after preparing food

· if you are in contact with a sick person, especially those with respiratory symptoms

· if your hands are dirty

· if you have handled animals or animal waste

Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. If you have to sneeze or cough:

· cover your nose and mouth with disposable tissues

· if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your arm or sleeve (not hand)

· put used tissues into a sealed bin

· wash your hands

 

 

 

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