Wednesday Jan 22, 2020
The new coronavirus strain has caused alarm in China and across the world because of its connection to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO) said the outbreak of the disease is a never-before-seen strain. It belongs to a broad family of viruses that range from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as SARS.
China’s National Health Commission has confirmed the coronavirus can spread from one human being to another. The commission noted that the virus was being treated as a class A disease, which means authorities can quarantine patients and put affected areas on lockdown.
As the disease continues to pose a risk to people not just within China but also in other countries, here are a few preventive measures people can take to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
Since there are no vaccines available currently to cure or treat the infection, people can reduce the risk of contraction by implementing the following measures on an individual level:
Firstly, health authorities have urged people to regularly wash hands with soap and/or antiseptics. People have also been warned to avoid touching their faces with unwashed hands.
Read more: All you need to know about coronavirus
Secondly, people are advised to avoid crowded places and close contact with people, especially those who are sick or even seem to have a cold.
They should drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.
If a person experiences symptoms of the common cold or fever, they are advised to stay at home, rest, and have pain medications for relief.
Health officials advise using tissues to cover the nose and mouth area when sneezing or coughing. Once used, throw the tissue responsibly and wash and disinfect hands. A hot shower is also recommended to help ease a sore throat.