What you need to know about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Coronaviruses are viruses that mostly cause mild conditions such as those of a cold, and sometimes cause serious infections such as lower respiratory diseases.
- COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that has, until now, not been seen in humans. It was first diagnosed in the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province of China on December 31, 2019 and has since been diagnosed in other countries around the world in a short period of time.
How does one get infected with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Coronaviruses can spread through both animals and humans.
- The virus can spread through via the sprays, droplets and other secretions produced by the coughing and sneezing of infected people, and through surfaces that infected people have contacted/touched (contacts with the eye, mouth and nasal mucosa).
- People who have shown no symptoms can still carry the virus in their respiratory tract, but the primary mode of contamination is through infected people.
How long is the incubation period for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- The incubation period of the virus – the period between being infected with the virus and symptoms emerging – ranges between 2 and 14 days.
What are the symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Common symptoms are fever, coughing, shortness of breath and respiratory distress. In more severe cases, the symptoms can include pneumonia and severe acute respiratory and renal failure.
What are the common preventive measures against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Hand sanitization is important! Hands must be washed frequently. Hands must be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not available, you should use a hand sanitizer. There is no need to use antiseptic soaps, normal soaps have proven effective if used as directed.
- Close contact with sick people must be avoided.
- Touching the eyes, nose and mouth must be avoided.
- A disposable paper tissue must be used to cover the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. If tissue is not available, using the inside of your elbow is effective in minimizing the spread of the virus.
- It is recommended that especially people showing symptoms of a respiratory tract infection (fever, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, sore throat etc.) should wash their hands frequently. Infected people should avoid crowded places if possible and, if they must enter a crowded place, they should cover their mouth and nose with a medical mask (surgical mask) if possible. There is no need to wear a mask if not infected.
- Food safety recommendations must be taken seriously (not consuming raw milk and animal products, washing raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly before consumption, etc.)
- If you have been to countries that have COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days, and you have fever, cough and/or respiratory distress, you should wear a surgical mask, consult a health facility and inform your doctor about your travel.
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