Home ECONOMY What You Should Do to Reduce Coronavirus Disease Infection Chances

What You Should Do to Reduce Coronavirus Disease Infection Chances

by biasharadigest

Nigeria has confirmed the first coronavirus case of an Italian who returned to the country from Milan on February 25.

With the likelihood that the Covid-19 courtesy of the flights from China and elsewhere may get to Kenya, Kenyans should take precautions to ensure that they are on top of things, in case it happens.

Currently, there are more than 82,000 coronavirus cases recorded globally and despite Kenya opening the doors for those travelling from China, there are no quarantine policies in effect in Kenya, according to the US Embassy, Nairobi.

With the disease spreading rapidly outside China, one of the high profile personalities to be infected outside China is Iran’s deputy health minister and an MP. Both have tested positive in a country where 26 people have already succumbed to the disease.

See: Chinese Continue Arriving in Kenya as Coronavirus Spreads Beyond China

In
addition to Iran, deaths outside mainland China due to the coronavirus have increased
including 13 in South Korea and 14 in Italy as of Thursday (yesterday).

Finland,
Norway and Brazil reported their first cases on Wednesday.

In
Africa, Algeria reported its first case of COVID-19 on February 25 after a case
reported earlier in Egypt.

WHO
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, however, says that the outbreak
has not yet reached the pandemic level.

So,
what should you do to prevent the disease? WHO says basic hygiene is the
answer.

Here’s
what the WHO advises that you do:

What are the symptoms
of coronavirus?

Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal

These symptoms are similar to the flu (influenza) or the common cold, which are a lot more common than COVID-19. This is why testing is required to confirm if someone has COVID-19. It’s important to remember that key prevention measures are the same – frequent hand washing, and respiratory hygiene (cover your cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throw away the tissue into a closed bin). Also, there is a vaccine for the flu – so remember to keep yourself and your child up to date with vaccinations

Also read: Chinese Embassy, Kenya’s Ministry of Health Promise More Flights From China

How can I avoid the
risk of infection?

Here
are four precautions you and your family can take to avoid infection:

  1. Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub 
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue, when coughing or sneezing, and throw away the tissue into a closed bin
  3. Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms
  4. Go to the doctor if you have a fever, cough or feel that it is difficult to breathe

Should I wear a
medical mask?

The
use of a medical mask is advised if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or
sneezing) to protect others. If you don’t have any symptoms, then there is no need
to wear a mask. 

If
masks are worn, they must be used and disposed of properly to ensure their
effectiveness and to avoid any increased risk of transmitting the virus. 

The
use of a mask alone is not enough to stop infections and must be combined with
frequent hand washing, covering sneezes and coughs, and avoiding close contact
with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms (coughing, sneezing, and fever).

Does
COVID-19 affect children?

This is a new virus and we do not know enough yet about how it affects children or pregnant women. We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus, but so far there have been relatively few cases of COVID-19 reported among children. The virus is fatal in rare cases, so far mainly among older people with pre-existing medical conditions.

What should I do if my child has symptoms of COVID-19?

Seek
medical attention, but remember that it’s flu season in the Northern
Hemisphere, and symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough or fever can be similar to
those of the flu, or the common cold – which are a lot more frequent.

Continue
to follow good hand and respiratory hygiene practices like regular handwashing,
and keep your child up to date with vaccinations –
so that your child is protected against other viruses and bacteria causing
diseases.

As
with other respiratory infections like the flu, seek care early if you or your
child are having symptoms, and try to avoid going to public places (workplace,
schools, public transport), to prevent spread to others.

What should I do if a family member displays symptoms?

Also read: 5 Simple physical exercises to ease depression

You should seek medical care early if you or your child has a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. Consider calling ahead to tell your health care provider if you have travelled to an area where COVID-19 has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone with who has travelled from one of these areas and has respiratory symptoms.

Should I take my
child out of school?

If
your child is having symptoms, seek medical care, and follow the instructions
from the health care provider. Otherwise, as with other respiratory infections
like the flu, keep your child well rested at home while symptomatic, and avoid
going to public places, to prevent spread to others.

If
your child isn’t displaying any symptoms such as a fever or cough – and unless
a public health advisory or other relevant warning or official advice has been
issued affecting your child’s school – it’s best to keep your child in class.

Instead
of keeping children out of school, teach them good hand and respiratory hygiene
practices for school and elsewhere, like frequent handwashing (see below),
covering cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throwing away the
tissue into a closed bin, not touching their eyes, mouths or noses if they
haven’t properly washed their hands.

What is the best way
to wash hands properly?

Step
1: Wet hands with running water

Step
2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands

Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including the back of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds.

Step
4: Rinse thoroughly with running water

Step
5: Dry hands with a clean cloth or single-use towel

Wash
your hands often, especially before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing,
or sneezing; and going to the bathroom. 

If
soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are
visibly dirty.

Can pregnant women
pass coronavirus to unborn children? 

At
this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether the virus is
transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, or the potential impact
this may have on the baby. This is currently being investigated. Pregnant women
should continue to follow appropriate precautions to protect themselves from
exposure to the virus, and seek medical care early, if experiencing symptoms,
such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

Is it safe for a
mother to breastfeed if she is infected with coronavirus?

All
mothers in affected and at-risk areas who have symptoms of fever, cough or
difficulty breathing, should seek medical care early, and follow instructions
from a health care provider. 

Considering
the benefits of breastfeeding and the insignificant role of breastmilk in the
transmission of other respiratory viruses, the mother can continue
breastfeeding, while applying all the necessary precautions.

For
symptomatic mothers well enough to breastfeed, this includes wearing a
mask when near a child (including during feeding), washing hands before
and after contact with the child (including feeding), and
cleaning/disinfecting contaminated surfaces – as should be done in all cases
where anyone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 interacts with others,
including children.  

If
a mother is too ill, she should be encouraged to express milk and give it to
the child via a clean cup and/or spoon – all while following the same infection
prevention methods.

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