As COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to circulate through society, it is important to recognise the symptoms and help prevent the spread of this virus. There are a number of easy steps you can take to help slow the spread.
What is COVID-19 or Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These range from the common cold, to more serious conditions.
COVID-19 specifically is a new form of coronavirus, first reported in December 2019 in China.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus range from mild to potentially life-threatening. Some people may recover easily, while others may get very sick very quickly, and require hospitalisation.
Symptoms may include
- Respiratory symptoms such a cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath
- Runny nose
- Muscle or joint pains
- Loss or altered sense of smell and/or taste
- Loss of appetite
What should I do if I believe I may have Coronavirus?
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms, seek medical advice from your GP and get tested. You should call in advance before attending any GP clinic. O’Connell St Clinic is pleased to offer Telehealth services, so you are able to speak to our doctors over the phone or video from your home.
How do I prevent the spread of Coronavirus, and how do I protect myself?
There are six things that you can do that will both prevent the spread and protect you from potentially catching COVID-19.
1. Hand Hygiene
Clean your hand often. Best option is to wash them thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water. Alternatively, using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available. Hand sanitiser should include at least 60% alcohol.
2. Social distancing
One way to slow the spread of viruses is physical distancing. The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread. Maintain a safe distance from others outside your household, especially those people who are coughing or sneezing. Avoid physical greetings such as handshakes, crowds, and large public gatherings.
3. Wear a mask
The term ‘face mask’ includes both cloth masks and single-use face masks (commonly called surgical masks). Both types are beneficial in preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
It is currently recommended to wear a mask when in public in New South Wales. Wearing a mask can help slow community transmission of the virus by creating an additional physical barrier. If social distancing is difficult such as public transport, it is recommended that you wear a mask or face covering.
4. Don’t touch your face
Coronavirus can exist on surfaces such as door handles, light switches and phones. By touching your face, you may be inadvertently infecting yourself with the virus, or spreading the virus from yourself onto other surfaces.
5. Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow
To prevent spreading the virus with your hands, if you need to sneeze or cough, cover your face with your elbow. This will also stop virus droplets spraying into the air. Alternatively, you can sneeze or cough into a tissue and throw it away straight away. Wash or sanitise your hands immediately afterwards.
6. Stay home if you feel unwell
By staying home, you are limiting your exposure to other people. This gives the virus less chance to spread to other people. This is especially important to protect vulnerable people in the community.
It is important to stay in touch with your GP, to help stop the spread of Coronavirus, and maintain your health generally. If you are at all concerned about how to manage your health during the pandemic, book an appointment with one of our doctors here.