Monday, March 9, 2020

Coronavirus: What you need to know

How do you catch it?
From a sufferer who coughs or sneezes near you. Close contact with a sick person.
Not washing your hands regularly and touching your face after contact with unclean surfaces also raises the risk.
What is ‘close contact’?
The NHS defines it as living in the same house, being in contact with another person’s bodily fluids, talking together for longer than a few minutes or being within 6ft of a person for more than 15 minutes.
How do I know if I have it?
The only sure way is a Medical  test. If you think you need one, call 108.
You can have it without feeling ill. Main symptoms are similar to flu – a cough, high temperature and shortness of breath. Those with flu-like symptoms are not likely to have it if they have not been to a high-risk area or have not had close contact with a confirmed patient.
How to reduce my risks?
Don’t travel to hotspots, such as northern Italy. Avoid contact with sick people.
Good personal hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser as an alternative.
Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Bin used tissues straight away and wash your hands.
Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
Do face masks help?
Not really. Experts say masks are better used by infected people to stop them spreading it. Masks can raise the risk if people touch their faces more to adjust them.
How worried should I be?
About 80 per cent of patients experience only mild illness, says the World Health Organization.

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