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COVID-19: What is it? How to Minimise the Risk of Infection?

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 26, 2020 5:38:07 PM / by Calvin Leong

 

 

Virus - White Word on Red Puzzles on White Background. 3D Illustration.

COVID-19 is a respiratory infection caused by a new coronavirus This virus was first discovered in Hubei Province, China. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed COVID-19 to be a pandemic.

 

How Would You Know If You Contracted COVID-19?

The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough and tiredness. Other symptoms may include aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat.

Indisposed woman feeling her temperature while resting on the sofa at home

 

How is COVID-19 Transmitted?

COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets from someone with COVID-19 who coughs or sneezes within a distance of 1 meter (3 feet). Droplets can also be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces or objects and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

 

A sick man lying on the sofa in the living room

How long is the Incubation Period?

The incubation period of COVID-19 is currently estimated to range between two to14 days.

Who is More Susceptible to COVID-19?

Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions e.g. high blood pressure, heart disease, lung diseases, cancer or diabetes are at a higher risk because these groups of people have lower immunity.

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What Are the Three Most Important Things You Can Do To Minimise The Risk of Infection?

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water using proper handwashing steps or use hand sanitizer if you do not have ready access to hand-washing basins. Practice respiratory etiquette; if you have to cough or sneeze, do it into a tissue and dispose the used tissue appropriately. Maintain a social distance of 1 metre (3 feet) minimum.

Closeup of dentists hands using soap dispenser in clinic

What if You Have To Travel?

  • Always bring along surgical masks and sanitizers for use when required
  • Avoid crowded places and close contact with people showing symptoms
  • Avoid visiting animal farms and market selling live animals, slaughterhouses, and avoid touching any animal
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat
  • Seek prompt medical treatment if symptoms develop

Happy family going on holidays and getting on the airplane

Why is Screening Important?

Screening is crucial as it allows infected patients to avoid infecting others and to quickly receive the care they need. Proper testing will also lower the rate of infection. When infected people do not know that they are infected, they may not stay at home – thereby running the risk of infecting others.

The screening test involves taking a simple swab sample from the throat. The sample will be sent to the lab to be tested and results are normally available after one to two days.

Chemist mixing green liquid in beaker with two chemists watching in the lab

References:

Chan JF-W, Yuan S, Kok , K-H , et al: A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster. Lancet 2020

Fang, L., Karakiulakis, G., Roth, M. (2002) Are patients with hypertension and diabetes mellitus at increased risk for COVID-19 infection?, The Lancet, 2020 March 11. (accessed on 17 March 2020) https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30116-8/fulltext.

Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection is suspected, Interim Guidance. WHO Jan 2020

Interim infection prevention and control recommendation for patients with confirmed 2019- Novel coronavirus or patient under investigation for COVID-19 in healthcare setting. Updated Feb 3 2020. CDC

Li Q, Guan X, Wu P, et al: Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. N Engl J Med 2020

Song Z., Xu Y., Bao L., Zhang L., Yu P., Qu Y., Zhu H., Zhao W., Han Y., and Qin C.: From SARS to MERS, thrusting coronaviruses into the spotlight. Viruses 2019 Jan 14; undefined: pp. 11

Wu Z., and McGoogan J.M.: Characteristics of and important lessons from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in China: summary of a report of 72 314 cases from the Chinese center for disease control and prevention. J Am Med Assoc 2020 Feb 24

Other websites you may like:

Latest Statistics on COVID-19 in Malaysia

Designated Hospitals Handling CODIV-19 Cases in Malaysia

Did you enjoy this article? CaregiverAsia- Malaysia does COVID-19 testing at the comfort of your own home. Click on the link below for more information. 

CLICK HERE AND GET TESTED FOR COVID19!

Topics: Wellness

Calvin Leong

Written by Calvin Leong

Calvin Leong holds a Master in Medical Education from the University of Dundee, United Kingdom. He is certified in Clinical Wound Care by the ASEAN Wound Care Association. Calvin has 20 years of clinical and lecturing experience focusing on Mentoring in Healthcare, Traumatology and Medical Sciences. Calvin is HRDC certified trainer. He is also a Life Member of The Malaysian Association for the Study of Pain (MASP) and the Malaysian Society of Wound Care Professionals (MSWCP).

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