If you ever watched the news, read a newspaper or browsed the internet in the past 2 months, you definitely heard about the new coronavirus that is causing the COVID-19 (the Coronavirus Disease 2019). The disease is very contagious and has spread quickly all across the globe, so you should treat it very seriously and take the needed measures to protect yourself and your family.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause health problems to humans and animals. These can range from a common cold to more severe diseases like the MERS, the SARS, and the COVID-19. The geographical source of the new virus is China, but scientists do not know the exact source of the virus itself yet. It was first believed that it was transmitted to humans by pangolins, but that turned out to be false. The closest possible source at this moment is the bat, but experts are not 100% sure yet.
The Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease
The most common ones are:
- Dry cough
- Breathing difficulties
- Aches and pain
- Nasal congestion or a runny nose
- Sore throat
A large percentage of the people infected recover without needing any special treatment. However, 16% develop health complications and around 2% die. The most susceptible are older people who also have underlying medical issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or other conditions.
How To Protect Yourself Against The Coronavirus
The simplest and most effective protection measures against the virus are:
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water, or disinfect them with an alcohol-based solution. This will kill the viruses and will prevent them from entering your body
- So the next logical step is to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed or not disinfected hands. You may get the virus by touching certain surfaces and then transfer it directly in your body through the eyes, nose or mouth
- Keep a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from someone who is coughing or sneezing. When doing this, those persons are spraying tiny liquid droplets that may contain the virus. They may reach your skin or you can breathe them, thus getting infected
- Follow the basic respiratory hygiene rules. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or with your bent elbow. When using a tissue, throw it away immediately
- Use an N95 respirator mask if you have any symptoms of the disease or when getting in contact with infected people
- If you are not feeling well, stay at home. If you cough, have a fever and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention (call them to get to your home instead of going to the hospital and potentially infesting other people along the way)
- Also make sure to stay aware of the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak, as scientists are discovering new things every day. In some countries, the outbreak was successfully stopped or slowed down, while in others it is just beginning. Follow the advice given by your national public health authority
- Keep updated about the latest hotspots of the virus and avoid travelling to those locations. You have higher chances of catching the virus in those areas
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