With over 9,500 confirmed cases and over 200 fatalities, Wuhan coronavirus has now spread further than SARS.
The 2019-nCoV coronavirus spreads from person-to-person in close proximity, similar to other respiratory illnesses.
The disease can be transmitted through sneezing or coughing, which disperses droplets of body fluids such as saliva or mucus. According to scientists, coughs and sneezes can travel several feet and stay suspended in the air for up to 10 minutes. These droplets can come into direct contact with other people, or can infect those who pick them up by touching surfaces on which the infected droplets land, or touching a surface and then their face.
It is not yet know how long the virus can survive on surfaces, but in other viruses, the range is between a few hours or months. Transmission is of particular concern on transport, where droplets containing the coronavirus could pass between passengers or via surfaces like plane seats and armrests. The incubation period of the coronavirus, the length of time before symptoms appear, is between one and 14 days.
While face masks are popular, scientists doubt their effectiveness against airborne viruses. They may provide some protection to you and others, but they are loose and made of permeable material, meaning droplets can still pass through.
So how can you protect yourself? Here are a few important tips that will keep you safe.
• Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
• When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
• Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
• If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
• When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
• The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
Click here to share it on Facebook