World Health Organization recommends people take these simple precautions against coronavirus to reduce exposure and transmission
How does the coronavirus spread?
- The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak is a new illness and scientists are still assessing how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses tend to spread via cough and sneeze droplets.
- When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they release droplets of saliva or mucus. These droplets can fall on people in the vicinity and can be either directly inhaled or picked up on the hands then transferred when someone touches their face, causing infection. For flu, some hospital guidelines define exposure as being within six feet of an infected person who sneezes or coughs for 10 minutes or longer.
Stay six feet from infected individuals.
- Viruses can also be spread through droplets landing on surfaces such as seats on buses or trains or desks in school. However, whether this is the main transmission route depends on how long viruses survive on surfaces – this can vary from hours to months.
- There is anecdotal evidence that the virus can be spread by people before they have symptoms. Some other illnesses such as flu can be passed from one person to another before symptoms occur – but the extent to which this is happening with the Wuhan coronavirus is not well understood yet.
How to protect yourself and others
Wash your hands.
- Wash your hands: wet your hands with clean, running water and apply soap. Lather your hands, including the backs, between your fingers, and under your nails and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Rinse.
Cover your mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the bin and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue to hand, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands.
Clean and Steam your clothes.
- Clean and steam your clothing after travel or after coming home for the day to get rid of all the germs. Whether you are at home or in a hotel, you want to try to avoid touching things that other people have touched such as irons, handheld steamers, and sending your clothes to the dry cleaners. To avoid these problems you can use InstaSteam. InstaSteam is your HANDS-FREE way to steam and deodorize your clothing. With an InstaSteam starter kit stowed in your bag, you can pull together a perfectly pressed look when on the fly—literally—without needing access to an outlet. Fill the pod with water and put it in a garment bag. It creates wrinkle-smoothing steam in minutes and is disposable when the job is done.
Face masks offer some protection.
- Face masks offer some protection as they block liquid droplets. However, they do not block smaller aerosol particles that can pass through the material of the mask. The masks also leave the eyes exposed and there is evidence that some viruses can infect a person through the eyes.
Seek medical help.
- Seek early medical help if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share your travel history with healthcare providers.
Avoid live animals.
- If visiting live markets in affected areas avoid direct, unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces that have been in contact with animals.
Avoid raw foods.
- If you have returned from an affected area in the last two weeks, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people for 14 days. This means not going to work, school or public areas.
Seek medical advice before leaving home.
- If you have returned from an infected area and develop a high temperature, cough, runny nose, sore throat or difficulty breathing do not leave your home until you have been given advice by a doctor.