How can you prevent yourself from catching or spreading coronavirus (COVID-19)?

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COVID-19 upgraded to a pandemic by WHO 

As of yesterday (11/03/2020), the World Health Organization (WHO) upgraded the current outbreak of COVID-19 to a pandemic (worldwide spread of a new disease). With figures reported now in excess of six figures and the new virus strain now being of global concern; major political leaders are now taking action on a global scale with restricted accesses on travel growing by the day. The National Health Service (NHS) have issued advice on what to do in order to contain the outbreak, and what to do if you think you might have coronavirus [1]. 

What can you do to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus? 

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work

  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards

  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19

The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:

  • cough
  • difficulty in breathing
  • fever

Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease [2].

What to do if you think you might have coronavirus

If you think you might have coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has it:

  • stay at home and avoid close contact with other people
  • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
  • use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next

The 111 coronavirus service will tell you if you need to continue to stay at home (self-isolate) or if you need medical help [1]. 

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