Coronavirus: Dos and don’ts to contain the spread of Covid-19
The deadly coronavirus has spread rapidly across the globe and has infected more than 80,000 people in 60 countries. In India too, the total number of coronavirus positive cases has risen to 28.
Its spread is alarming health experts and World Health Organisation (WHO) which has committed $12 billion to contain the outbreak.
How dangerous is the virus?
The coronavirus family of viruses includes the common cold and more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Coronavirus infections have a wide range of symptoms, including fever, cough and breathing difficulties.
Statistics from China indicate that about two per cent of people infected with the new virus have died, suggesting it may be deadlier than seasonal flu but less deadly than SARS, which killed about 10 per cent of infected individuals. The MERS outbreak in 2012 had a fatality rate of about 35 per cent.
Scientists have labelled the new virus 2019-nCoV.
Do face masks help?
“We recommend the use of masks for people who have symptoms... because the virus transmits through droplets,” says medical expert Sylvie Briand.
But they do not guarantee protection against infection. “For people who don’t have symptoms, the mask in fact is not useful,” Briand says.
The American Centres for Disease Control’s advice is that face masks are not required for the general public.
Where did the virus come from?
It is believed to have originated in a food market in China’s Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife. Health experts think it may have originated in bats and then passed to humans, possibly via another species.
Here are the dos and don’ts or keeping the disease at bay:
Good personal hygiene is a must if Covid-19 spread has to be contained
Practice frequent hand washing with soap
Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
Wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as cough or running nose
Avoid travelling if sick
Don’t travel to China if not essential: The government has also advised Indians to avoid all non-essential travel to countries affected by Covid-19.
Close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness should be avoided
Don’t consume raw/undercooked meat and avoid contact with live animals