With over 3000 people worldwide losing their lives to it, the latest health scare in the form of the coronavirus has spread to all continents. There is panic everywhere and a lot of misinformation doing the rounds as well.
As we are seeing new cases of coronavirus in America, public health experts advise staying calm and following the same precautions recommended for preventing flu or any other respiratory virus.
Stick with the basics: Wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, and stay at home from work or school when you’re sick.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided clear instructions as to what you need to do and not to take precautions against the coronavirus and if you haven’t yet seen them – we have them for you here.
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
You can sure stick to all the desi remedies to prevent a cold, like having your haldi ka doodh (turmeric milk) and tulsi tea, but it’s more advisable to follow the precautions as laid down by the WHO.
On a lighter note, social media did erupt with news of claims that people stopped consuming Corona beer fearing its related to the virus – which obviously is false!