As of March 1st 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that they are working closely alongside clinicians across the globe who are actively caring for patients with confirmed COVID-19. They are working diligently with international experts in order to gain a better understanding of the virus as well as to determine the appropriate treatments and interventions for COVID-19.
All Coronaviruses belong to family of viruses. Some of these viruses you may recognize, such as SARs, MERS, or the common cold.
Coronaviruses are commonly found in animals, however some coronaviruses have the ability to transfer from animal to human, as in the case of COVID-19.
For the most part, Coronaviruses cause predominant respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, sneezing and even fever.
The most significant step to take in preventing the spread of COVID-19 remains proper hand hygiene. The World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending the following:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- In the event that soap and water are not available, and alcohol based sanitizer rub will suffice.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Specifically, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are actively sick.
- If you yourself have become sick, stay home and limit your interaction with others until you are well.
- Cover your cough and/or sneeze with a tissue and proceed to discard the tissue immediately. Of tissue is not available cough or sneeze into your arm/sleeve.
- Objects and surfaces should be disinfected frequently. Pay special attention to high-touch objects such as cellphones, doorknobs, etc.
At this time, there is no specific treatments for COVID-19. The WHO advises that most people with human coronavirus illness will likely recover on their own.
The WHO advises that if you should develop flu-like symptoms, and if you have a travel history to a destination where there are confirmed cases of COVID-19, you should report this to your health care provider. Notify your provider by phone before hand if at all possible.
For most people, the risk remains very low and the COVID-19 infection will cause mild illness, however for some the infection can cause serious illness. The elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be at higher risk of developing severe symptoms.
For more information you can visit the Government of Canada website at: