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Families/Carers / Health and wellbeing / Parents and carers

Corona virus – tips to stay healthy

By Jennifer Lumsden, March 17 2020

Avoiding coronavirus

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
• Sneeze or cough into your elbow.
• Keep your hands as clean as possible, thorough washing with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is sick.
• Take the advice to self-isolate as per current advice – if you have people arrived back in Australia or have been in contact with anyone with the virus.

WHO Information Bulletins

  • This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees. It hates the Sun.
  • If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
  • If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours – so if you come into contact with any metal surface – wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.
  • On fabric, it can survive for 6-12 hours. Normal laundry detergent will kill it.
  • Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
  • Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but – a lot can happen during that time – you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
  • You should also gargle as prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
  • Can’t emphasis enough – drink plenty of water!

What’s the difference between a cold or flu and coronavirus?

Colds and flus are both viral infections, although flu symptoms are normally more severe and last longer. Symptoms for both include a cough and/or sore throat, fatigue, chills and shivering, a runny nose or congestion and headaches.

Flu symptoms normally include fever and extreme fatigue as well as more painful body aches and intense chills and shivering. A runny nose or nasal congestion is a common symptom of colds but is less symptomatic of the flu.

Cold symptoms are fairly distinct, but flu symptoms closely resemble coronavirus, making it difficult to detect.

Coronavirus symptoms are:

• A cough – it can be raspy, dry and moist depending on the severity,
• A high temperature
• Shortness of breath

Because the new virus affects the lower respiratory tract, most of those infected suffer from
a dry cough and shortness of breath but not a sore throat. However, that’s not been the case for all people. As these symptoms are very similar to a regular cold, or flu, it’s important to
know when to double-check and not just assume you’ll get over it in a few days.

Tips & Feedback from Overseas Health Departments

UK: The new Coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days. How can one know if he/she is infected? By the time they have fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, the lung is usually 50% Fibrosis and it’s too late. Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning. Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no Fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicates no infection. In critical time, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.

Advice by Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases:

Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat are moist, never dry. Take a few sips of water every 15 minutes at least. Why? Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or
other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there,
your stomach acid will kill all the virus. If you don’t drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs.

What happens if you have the virus?

• It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days
• The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.
• With pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
• The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you’re drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.

NB: Eighty per cent of COVID-19 patients do not need hospital treatment and can recover at home.

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