26 Feb 6 ways to protect you from coronavirus
The new coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, has spread rather rapidly since the first case was reported in December 2019. There is currently no vaccine available against it. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus and prevent infection is to prevent exposure to the virus.
The vast majority of cases of coronavirus are not life-threatening, as stated by an infectious disease specialist from La Paz Hospital, Madrid and reported in El País.
According to a Tweet from The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (@ECDC_EU) as of February 26th there were:
- 81027 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide
- 381 cases in EU countries, of which 7 were in Spain
How to protect yourself from the new coronavirus
The World Health Organisation recommend the following basic actions to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
- Frequently clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention adds that hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds, and that when using hand sanitiser it should have at least 60% alcohol content.
- Keep at least 1 metre of distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
This is referred to as social distancing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
If your hands are contaminated, touching your eyes, nose or mouth can allow the virus to enter your body.
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash. Alternatively, cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow.
- Stay home if you’re unwell, unless you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. In this case you should seek medical attention (make sure to call in advance).
- Be informed and follow advice from your healthcare provider, national and local public health authority or employer.
Masks protect you from coronavirus
The World Health Organisation advises you wear masks if:
- You are coughing or sneezing. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention adds that if you show symptoms of COVID-19, using a face mask can help prevent the spread of this virus to others.
- You are healthy AND are taking care of a person suspected to be infected with the novel coronavirus. This applies if you are taking care of them at home or in a healthcare facility. Masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns and goggles are crucial for health workers.
Even as you wear masks, it is important to use and dispose of them properly. For masks to be effective, you should not neglect hand hygiene; continue to frequently clean your hands as described above.