Protecting Your Family Against the Coronavirus

By Beth Roulston 2020-01-23 13:49:46

As China announces a 17th fatality as a result of the rapidly spreading Coronavirus, anxieties surrounding the disease is steadily growing; especially with the increase in travel due to Chinese New Year. 



What is the Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are common throughout the world, infecting both humans and animals.  Before the emergence of this latest strain from Wuhan, Hubei province, six strains of coronavirus were known to affect humans, with four of them causing mild respiratory symptoms akin to common colds. The other two strains, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) a type of coronavirus first reported in Asia in February, 2003, and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), are both potentially lethal.

As of right now the latest strain has not been linked to either SARS or MERS. 

At present, the latest strain of Coronavirus has spread to other Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai and has infected over 571 people. Leading experts have confirmed that it is indeed contagious.

What are the symptoms:

Initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, tightness of the chest, and shortness of breath.

Precautions you should take:

1. Wear a mask outdoors, making sure to keep it tight across the nose and fully covering the chin.



2. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or the inside of your elbow, just avoid using your hands.



3. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least fifteen seconds - especially after eating, using the toilet, returning home, touching waste and contact with animals. For young children, encourage them to count to 20 while they are lathering and rinsing!


4. Exercise regularly to help protect your body from infections



5. If at all possible, avoid crowded places like hospitals, railway stations and airports. If it is unavoidable, ensure all members of your family wear a mask.



6. Seek prompt medical attention if you’re not feeling well or have a fever and trouble breathing. Make sure to wear a mask to prevent spreading the disease to others.


7. Avoid close contact with people who have flu or cold-like symptoms.


For more information: WHO - World Health Organisation; China CDC