Last Updated on March 14, 2020 by Douglas C. Goldberg, MD
The novel 2019 coronavirus has killed many people, despite relatively low fatality rate. If you know how to behave yourself in the correct situation, you can protect yourself from infection or minimize its negative consequences (if you’ve had a close contact with a person with confirmed/alleged infection or just feel bad due to potentially dangerous cause).
Step 1. Stay Away From People With Signs Of Illness
You should avoid close contacts with sick people. As interpreted by the US CDC, close contact means being within about 2 meters (6 feet) of a sick person or items which may be infected. Such a situation may occur when you visit, care of, live with coronavirus case or share the same room while visiting a doctor. It should also be noted that only a human can be a source of the virus, so if you have the opportunity to avoid crowds, do it.
Step 2. Do Not Touch Your Face With Your Hands
If you’re in a public place, ride public transport, etc., do not touch your eyes, mouth, nose with non-washed hands. Wash the hands thoroughly before touching the face. You can also rinse your mouth with saline, this will help increase local immunity.
Step 3. Stay Home If You Are Sick
If you’re sick (feel flu or cold symptoms), you should be at home getting better. Remember, coronavirus does not have specific symptoms in the initial stages. Not staying home in ill condition, you can aggravate its course and infect others. Don’t go to work, university or school. In addition, if you returned from the risk zone or think that you may have the dangerous disease for another reason, it is better to call an ambulance than visiting the hospital independently to minimize contacts.
Step 4. Clean Your Phone
We mentioned that it is not recommended to touch your face if your hands are unwashed.
However, many people forget that their gadgets (smartphones, smart watches, laptops, etc.) may also be carriers of the potentially fatal virus. The same applies to frequently touched surfaces. You may use a wipe, ordinary household spray, or ethanol-based disinfector.
Step 5. Do Not Forget About Others
Sikhs say, ‘Treat others as you would be treated yourself’. Sneezing or coughing, cover nose and / or mouth to prevent virus dissemination. Remember that respiratory droplets are the most common way of its spreading.
- Should You Use A Facemask?
In fact, masks can be useless. With the occurrence of news about coronavirus, a hysteria started, people began to buy masks en masse (there is even a ridiculous myth that the coronavirus is very large and the mask does not let it through).
However, to put it mildly, this is an unreliable way of protection.
One should only wear it if his / her doctor recommends that or if one has become sick (allegedly or confirmedly) with coronavirus.
- Can You Get Re-Infected with Coronavirus?
The body cannot develop immunity to coronavirus.
So, unfortunately, reinfection cases are possible.
- Are Supplements Helpful for COVID Prevention?
Different supplements are actually useless. They may help to improve immunity but they can’t prevent coronavirus infection.
- Can You Go On Vacation To Vietnam / Indonesia / Italy At The Moment?
During an outbreak, it is better to refrain from traveling abroad, unless you are a Chinese national.
- Can You Buy Goods on Alibaba and Other Chinese Websites? Can Parcels be Contaminated?
COVID needs a living organism to survive, it features a low survivability on superficies. Delivery may take several days and even weeks, hence risks to be caught by the infection are extremely low. There is no proof the virus may be transmitted via imported parcels.
- Can a Previously Quarantined Person Spread the Disease to Surrounding People?
Quarantine is a separation of a person or several persons associated with their potential/real exposure to COVID-2019.
Quarantine period usually lasts 14 days (2 weeks), because this is most likely the longest possible incubation period.
After a release from isolation an individual is considered ‘clean’.
- Should You Be Tested For Coronavirus?
Call your health care expert if you feel bad and have closely contacted with a person with confirmed diagnosis or have recently arrived from infected area (in China, Italy, etc.). Your doctor will contact representatives of healthcare authorities and determine if you need the test. Due to lack of test kits, they are applied only if there is a reasonable suspicion.
- Can Test Results Be Wrong?
At initial stages, virus may show no signs in the body, and the test might be mistakenly negative. But if you already have some symptoms, and the test has been negative, this most likely means ‘crowned virus’ is not the cause.
- What Should You Do If You Think You Have Coronavirus Symptoms or Have Gotten Infected?
Stay home and restrict all your daily activities which imply contacts with other people. Avoid public transport and even taxi. Separate yourself from persons who are living with you, as well as from pets (there are no reports about COVID-2019 cases in animals, but some risk of contamination exists). You also need to wear a facemask, always cover cough and sneezes, and prevent personal household stuff from sharing. If you develop a severe condition, call 911 and inform healthcare workers that you might suffer from coronavirus.
- How To Treat The Disease Properly?
The body needs about 5 days to start producing sufficient quantity of antibodies. Actually, treatment methods have supporting purposes, they help the body to react adequately. Some remedies like Kaletra have proven antiviral effect.