What you need to know...
Basics on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
COVID19 is considered a novel virus not previously seen in humans. It was first identified in December and since then has spread across the globe. It is from the same large family of viruses that caused the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS).
Incubation (without symptoms) may be as long as 14 days
Duration of illness is dependent on the severity of illness
Patients with co-morbidities tend to have longer and more severe illness
Identified Symptoms of COVID19 in order of occurrence include:
Shortness of breath
Runny nose – rhinorrhoea
Nausea and vomiting
Based on the first 99 reported cases, radiological changes such as bilateral pneumonia and multiple mottling and ground glass opacity may also occur. as well as pneumothorax; and acute respiratory distress are also possible.
What are Classified as Severe Cases?
‘Severe’ disease classified as:
Shortness of breath
Respiratory rate more than 30 bpm
Chest X-ray with multi-lobar infiltrates or pulmonary infiltration progressed more than 50% within 24 - 48 hours
How it Spreads:
COVID-19 spreads from person to person, usually due to direct contact (body fluids e.g. droplets from coughing or sneezing) with a person already infected with the virus. Or indirectly through contact with contaminated surfaces. It is still not known how long COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces, although current information suggests the virus may survive a few hours. Simple household disinfectants can kill the virus.
People may be infectious with no symptoms
How to Stop the Spreading:
These guidelines are especially important in your line of work.
Use proper hand hygiene
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.
Practice respiratory etiquette
When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue –
discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Maintain social distancing
Leave at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
When you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
WHY THE LOCKDOWN?
Obviously, it's supposed to stop the spread of COVID. As mentioned before, the incubation period for this disease is approximately 14 days. If everyone stays at home for that long chances are when they leave the house, there will be less of it going around. So, here's what to do if you suspect you have COVID19:
IF YOU HAVE CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS:
· If you live alone, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
· If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
· Anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms needs to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of the original 14 day isolation period.
· If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, contact your GP by phone.
Disclaimer: this advice is based on standard advice provided by healthcare authorities in Ireland. It does not replace the advice of a qualified physician.