Despite massive efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, it has spread to almost every country in the world. So, now the question on everyone’s mind is “What can I do to protect myself from this coronavirus?”
The best way to prevent catching the infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Here are some things you can do to reduce your exposure to COVID-19.
Maintain social distancing
Keep at least 6-feet distance between yourself and other people. Stay away from crowded places and avoid mass gatherings. Small liquid droplets which may contain the virus are expelled from the nose or mouth during coughing or sneezing. If you are too close, you might inhale these droplets, including the coronavirus if the person coughing has the disease.
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly, wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub/sanitizer for at least 20 seconds which kills the viruses that may be on your hands.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
You can get COVID-19 by touching a surface that has the virus on it. By touching such surfaces, hands can easily pick up viruses which can eventually transfer to your eyes, nose or mouth.
Practice respiratory hygiene
When you cough or sneeze, ensure that you cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow. The used tissue should be disposed off immediately. Use face masks or home-made protective covers for face and mouth in case you step out of your house to buy groceries or for emergency cases.
Get early medical attention if you have fever, cough and difficulty in breathing
Get medical attention immediately if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Stay informed and follow your healthcare provider’s advice
Stay informed about the latest developments regarding COVID-19. Follow your healthcare provider’s advice, as well as your national and local public health authority on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
If you are in or have recently visited (past 2 weeks) COVID-19 affected areas
- Follow the guidance outlined above.
- If you feel unwell, stay at home (and self-isolate), even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. In case of fever, breathing difficulty and cough, get medical attention immediately.
- Calling your health care provider will help them to direct you to the right health facility. Let them know of any recent travel or contact with travellers or COVID-19 patients. The possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses can thus be prevented.
Have a plan for if you get sick
- You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbours, and community health workers if you become sick.
- Determine who can care for you if your caregiver gets sick.
- Check with your doctor about obtaining any necessary medications to have in hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a longer time.
- Have sufficient household items and groceries in hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home.
- If you have pets at home, make arrangements with somebody to take care of your pets during your illness.
What to do if you have symptoms?
- Pay attention to potential COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
- If you feel like you are developing symptoms, stay home (self-isolate) and call your doctor immediately. Let them know that you may have COVID-19. This will enable them to take care of you and keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
- Get medical care immediately if you develop emergency warning signs/symptoms for COVID-19.
- In adults, emergency warning signs and symptoms* are:
- Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all-inclusive. For any other symptoms that are severe or concerning, you should consult your medical provider.
Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients, and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.