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COVID-19-Prevention and Treatment

We all know that prevention is better than cure so we will deal with PREVENTION first.

Prevention of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) nor a specific anti-viral medication.  So, each of us has a special responsibility to protect ourselves.  After all, if we aren’t infected, we can’t infect others! AND REMEMBER – the symptoms can be slight, so you may not know if you are infected – it is sensible to follow these precautions as an everyday routine!

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Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw (drop) the tissue in the trash

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects (e.g. door-handles) and surfaces using a regular household spray or wipe
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and (hot) water for at least 20 seconds (or two verses of ‘Happy Birthday’) especially after: –
    • Going to the bathroom
    • Blowing your nose
    • Coughing or sneezing

And before: –

  • Food preparation and eating

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol- based sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol).  ALWAYS use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

All these actions will lessen your chances of infection from a flu-type disease like COVID-19, especially during the ‘flu season’.  It will also lessen the chances of your family and friends, co-workers and day-to-day contacts catching and passing on an infection.

We can all help by setting an example, especially to our children!

Four sensible precautions to take to prevent Coronavirus infection or COVID-19

  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Only wear a mask if you have a cough or cold (it will help to lessen the risk of infecting others)
  • If you are yourself unwell – stay home!
  • Avoid unnecessary ‘out of community’ travel. CDC has specific advice for travelers

NO AMOUNT OF PREVENTION will eliminate the virus completely but the chance of any one individual being infected is very small.  If we all follow the advice given by the CDC the chance of your being infected and of COVID-19 becoming unmanageable in greatly lessened.

Things to do if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or Coronavirus.

YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT TO DO if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19. E.g. you are resident in a community where person-to-person spread of COVID-19 has been detected OR somehow exposed to someone who has been sick with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, you should contact your healthcare provider even if you do not have any of the symptoms.  (Have mask at hand when you visit your healthcare provider.  You may be requested to wear it in the vicinity of other patients)

There is some evidence that the virus can be transmitted even before the symptoms are apparent.

Symptoms of Coronavirus infection / COVID-19

  • FEVER
  • COUGH (Dry)
  • SHORTNESS OF BREATH

None of these symptoms of itself is evidence of COVID-19. Together they may indicate a flu type infection but if you are uncertain, seek medical advice.

You will be given a straightforward test to determine whether or not you have been infected and the physician will make an overall assessment of your condition taking special account of age and any existing/chronic conditions.

If you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 you will almost certainly be able to ‘self-isolate’ at home during your illness and be advised to follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to others in your household and community.

What to do if you are infected with Coronavirus / COVID-19?

Stay home

You should restrict activities outside your home except for medical care.  Even then you should phone to make arrangements that will minimize exposure to other attending patients. (Have a face mask to hand)

Separate yourself

FROM PEOPLE – As much as you can, keep to a specific room and away from other people in your home. 

FROM ANIMALS – Avoid contact with pets and other animals. There is no evidence that they can be affected (but you don’t want to find out), but they can transfer the virus by licking or by carrying it on their fur.

Avoid contamination

WEAR A FACEMASK – You should wear a facemask in the company of other people (e.g. in the same room or vehicle). If you do need to sneeze it is still better to use and immediately dispose of a tissue.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • USE A TISSUE – Cover your mouth and nose to limit the spread of virus-bearing water droplets.  ‘Drop’ the used tissue into a lined (disposable) trash can. Immediately wash your hands in soap and water (hot) for a minimum of 20 seconds (or two verses of HAPPY BIRTHDAY!).
  • CLEAN YOUR HANDS OFTEN – As above and especially after using the bathroom, before preparing or eating food.

Avoid sharing personal household items*

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people (or pets).  After using any of these items they should be washed thoroughly in soap and (hot) water.

Clean all High-Touch surfaces*

It is import to thoroughly clean any “high touch” surfaces. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.

Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

*NOTE – You should follow these guidelines as a matter of good practice to prevent the spread of airborne diseases, e.g. flu even if you have no symptoms.  If members of your household have ‘private’ spaces you should encourage them to follow these guidelines.

Monitor your symptoms

Monitor your symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g. difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.

These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department.

Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation

If you have been confirmed as having COVID-19, or have been in recent contact with someone who has, you should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low (14 days).

The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions will be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

REMEMBER – BY TAKING CARE OF YOUR FAMILY YOU WILL BE TAKING CARE OF ALL OF US. Note. 

The contents of this item are based on current CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) publications, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CAVID-19).

Visit The Centers for Disease Control website for more information on the Coronavirus, including what you should know about symptoms, treatments, testing, and other frequently asked questions

Does health insurance cover coronavirus