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How to Protect Yourself against COVID-19

Coronavirus is a large family of pathogens. Each strain of coronavirus is not equally dangerous, four strains (types) of coronavirus cause mild illnesses like the common cold. Covid testing is the only way to know if you have it for sure.The three others can cause fatal infections. One of them is SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Since the body has not been exposed to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), our bodies aren’t well equipped to deal with COVID-19. A vaccine would allow the body to safely develop an immune response to COVID-19 that could prevent or control infection. As some of the vaccines are at later stages of Phase-3 Clinical Trials, they would still take an estimate of 8-16 months to develop for worldwide use, so until then follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to avoid the transmission of disease.

Know how it spreads?

COVID-19 spreads easily from person to person, this is highly contagious and spreads mainly by the following routes:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales.
  • Respiratory droplets cause infection when they are inhaled or deposited on mucous membranes, such as those that line the inside of the nose and mouth.
  • You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth
  • People who are infected but do not have symptoms can also spread the virus to others.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 symptoms range from mild to severe. Some people have no symptoms. The most common symptoms include;

  • Fever
  • Dry Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • New lost of taste and smell sensation
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches or pain

How to keep yourself and others protected from

COVID-19

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the transmission of this virus by following these steps

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others, whenever possible. This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others. This helps reduce the risk of spread both by close contact and by airborne transmission. Avoid shaking hands. Maintain physical distance of 6 feet.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • High-risk individuals (old individuals with underlying diseases or immune-compromised patients) should medical care, if they observe any of the COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Avoid crowded indoor spaces and ensure indoor spaces are properly ventilated by bringing in outdoor air as much as possible. In general, being outdoors and in spaces with good ventilation reduces the risk of exposure to infectious respiratory droplets.
  • Stay home and isolate from others when sick.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Pandemics can be stressful, especially when you are staying away from others. During this time, it’s important to maintain social connections and care for your mental health.
  • Avoid the 3Cs: spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact.
  • Maintain proper ventilation.
  • Restrict your travel; CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel
  • If you observe any of the COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate or self quarantine for 14 days. Self-analyze your symptoms day to day and seek medical care from healthcare provider over phone.
  • Try to manage your work if possible
  • Avoid crowded or indoors gatherings

Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress

Manage your stress by following these steps.

  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate/Zen meditation or do yoga.
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and drug use.
Protect Yourself from Flu Season

While getting flu vaccine/shots will not protect against COVID-19 there are many important benefits, such as:

  1. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.
  2. Getting a flu vaccine can also save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.

References

Coping with Stress. (2020, July 1). Retrieved from Centre for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html#community

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public. (2020, November 16). Retrieved from World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

How to Protect Yourself & Others. (2020, November 4). Retrieved from Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

How to protect yourself and others. (n.d.). Retrieved from EuropeanCentre for Disease Prevention and Control: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/covid-19/prevention-and-control/protect-yourself

Lisa Lockerd Maragakis, M. M. (n.d.). How Can I Protect Myself (and Others) from the New Coronavirus and COVID-19? Retrieved from Hopkins Medicine: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/how-can-i-protect-myself-from-coronavirus

Noreen Iftikhar, M. (2020, June 4). Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention: 12 Tips and Strategies. Retrieved from HealthLine: https://www.healthline.com/health/coronavirus-prevention

Pritish K. Tosh, M. (n.d.). Coronavirus: What is it and how can I protect myself? Retrieved from MAYO CLINICS: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answers/novel-coronavirus/faq-20478727