What is Corona Virus ( COVID -19) and How to Protect Yourself
Our goal with this is post which is the first of many, is to breakdown the information we know about Corona virus and using many different platforms to educate you on ways to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community. We will also share tips about things you can do and how to care for yourself or loved ones if you happen to get sick.
So what is corona viruses?
The simple answer it that the corona viruses( there is more than one) are a group of RNA viruses that cause a
variety of diseases in humans and other animals. The Coronaviruses that we are most familiar with are the ones that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, the flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). At the end of 2019, a new coronavirus was identified as the cause of a disease outbreak that originated in China,and it was named corona virus 2019 or Covid-19. So the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus which started in Wuhun China.
Lets talk about whom within our community are most vulnerable to the corona virus or covid -19 as well as just sharing more information the signs and symptoms you will might experience:
- Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.
- Or even no symptoms as well. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease like COPD, chronic bronchitis, and
cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
Signs and symptoms
According to data posted on the WHO website. Corona virus can present with the following signs and symptoms which can include:
- Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure and in some cases up to 30 days.
- Other signs and symptoms include tiredness, aches, runny nose, sore throat. This may feel like any other cold or flu you have had, so treat it like you would treat any other cold and monitor for complications.
- In short if you are doing everything you can to feel better and you don’t, that is the best time to seek expert care.
How does it spreads and how can you protect yourself
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also try as much as possible to limit transmission to yourself and others (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow)– Remember that there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
So how best can one protect yourself and your loved ones.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. It can spread very quickly among people who are in close contact with one another. Hence social distancing that why you want to stay within about 1.8 meters or (6 feet). So try to maintain your distance in public areas and stay home if symptomatic. The virus tends to spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. So cover you coughs with your elbow, hanky or tissue. Keep in mind that these droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs and cause serious illness. COVID-19 droplets can remain in the air for up to 3hrs,
- Hand washing and how to clean your hands
- Wash hands for up to 20 seconds
- Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because, people frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it.
- So wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds,( short demonstration) especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%- 70% alcohol.
- Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
We will be adding recipes on our website and facebook pages and groups on how to make soap, alcohol sanitizer, bleach cleaner, alcohol etc
- It is very important that you avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Can you talk briefly about Staying home home and why is so important. If you are sick, except when seeking medical care, please stay at home. Try to treat it like you would any other flu. That includes taking flu or cold medicine, drink plenty of fluids ( water/drinks with electrolytes and minerals and food as tolerated.
- Get plenty or rest, try to get up and move if you can. If the weather permits get out and get some sunshine on your face close to home of course. Also you may want to increase your vitamin C consumption by taking supplement if you have them or just consuming citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemon peel tea.
- Get plenty of vitamin D, from the sun and leafy green, liver etc. to help boost immunity.
- Try and get at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day, and get plenty of vitamin D by going out into the sun. Vitamin D can help to boost your immunity. Sun exposure for vitamin D. On average you need about 10-30 mins in the sun a day. Now there is no exact science on this. I think the more fair skinned you are the less time you should stay in the sun so 10 mins and if you are darker skinned like me you need closer to 30 mins.
- It important to seek medical care if you are continuing to experience the symptoms I described earlier like Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, even if you are caring for yourself as described above, as this may indicate that you are at risk for suffering from complications of corona virus 2019 ( COVID 2019).
Let’s talk about masks.
I am very torn on the topic of masks because I don’t know that they are as helpful if not used properly. So to be clear I am not telling you never to wear a mask , but most times people are not maintaining sterility with those and tend to increase their risk of catching this virus. If you have access to a mask and are wearing it please keep it on your face. If you feel under the weather try and wear a mask if you have one available when out in public.
Cleaning AND disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
Clean daily and more often if surfaces are visibly dirty. Clean more frequently those areas that are high touch
surfaces and they include tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards,
toilets, faucets, and sinks with bleach and/or alcohol based cleaners. Of course if surfaces are dirty, clean
them using either soap or detergent and water prior to disinfection with bleach cleaner.As mentioned we will have a few recipes on our website and facebook page on how to make your own bleach cleaner, hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer at home and more
Remember that the best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, educate yourself on how it spreads and how to monitor for complications. Follow recommendation for ways to protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands and or using an alcohol based rub like hand sanitizer , lastly avoid touching your face as well cleaning high touch surfaces with bleach cleaner.
-Please continue to visit our facebook pages, groups and website as we continue to share information about the corona virus 2019 and more ways you can protect yourself , your loved ones and your entire community.
Below are links to our facebook pages and groups as well as our website
http://vaMudhumeni resources for farmershttps://www.facebook.com/vaMudhumeni
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