4 ways to avoid coronavirus infection

Four ways to avoid the coronavirus

Infectious Disease,

With the coronavirus causing alarm around the globe, Brazilians should feel fortunate, at least so far. The number of cases in South America is much lower than in the Northern Hemisphere. 

The virus may have a more difficult time surviving in a warmer climate. This is not yet known, and it may be just a matter of time until many more cases are diagnosed here. So, while so far we can feel more secure in Brazil, we should be prepared. Here are four basic ways to reduce your risk of infection.

Who has a higher risk?

People older than 60 years, and those with chronic health conditions—cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular or lung disease, or a compromised immune system—need to be especially aware. While 80% of those infected have no or only mild symptoms, older people or people with chronic health conditions have a higher risk of developing potentially life-threatening pneumonia.

Four ways to reduce coronavirus risk

1) Your hands are the virus’s bridge—wash them 

In most cases, the virus infects your body not from virus particles in the air, but from virus that you pick up on your hands. Then if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, the virus can enter and you become infected. Some hints:

The routine is: wet, lather generously, scrub, rinse, and dry. A quick wash is not enough. An adequate wash takes about 20 seconds.

Scrub all surfaces, including the spaces between your fingers, the nail areas, the top of your hand, lower palm, and wrist.

Any soap is adequate, and if soap is not available, use lots of water, or better, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol). Use it generously on all surfaces and let it dry. This also takes about 20 seconds to do properly.

In a public bathroom, using paper towels to dry is better than an air dryer. Use the towel with vigor, then use it to shut off the water and open the door on the way out, as most people touch the handle without proper washing. So—even after washing— if you touch the door or handle with your hands, you can become contaminated again.

Wash frequently when in public places, before and after eating or the bathroom, or after you have touched public surfaces that might have virus on them. For example: touch screens at your ATM, utensils at a restaurant, other people’s hands, elevator buttons, subway poles, gym equipment.

2) Don’t touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth)

This is difficult but critical. A mask is unlikely to protect you from getting the virus, but it might be worthwhile if it reminds you not to touch your face.

If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are washed, or use a tissue as a barrier. 

3) Social distancing

Avoid crowds as much as you can, and if someone seems ill, keep at least 1.5 or better, 2 meters distance from them. Avoid unnecessary air travel, crowded buses, sporting events, or parties if you in a vulnerable risk group for coronavirus. Stay at home more. Rather than shake hands or kiss as a greeting, try something else, such as a little bow and say something like “corona precautions” so they understand that you are not being “cold”. 

4) Important medications

Many medications have components made in China, so their supply may be limited in the future. Plan ahead. Especially if you take medication (or need medical equipment) for blood pressure, heart, diabetes, or your lungs, it would be prudent to buy enough medication for a few months if a shortage occurs. Also adequate soap and hand sanitizer. Buy a small bottle for your pocket or purse, and a larger one to put near the entrance to your home.

While these measures won’t guarantee against infection, the more conscientiously you take these precautions, the less likely you are to become sick with coronavirus.

To find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website: www.ProcuraMed.com.

See also in ProcuraMed:

HIV treatment prevents transmission in couples

The syphilis epidemic: what you should know

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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