By Sydney CBD Osteopath Dr Marcus Ng
What is coronavirus ? What are the signs or COVID-19? How does COVID-19 spread? What can you do to protect yourself from coronavirus? What is Quay health doing about COVID-19?
In the wake of the recent increase in Coronaviruses cases spreading across the globe, this blog will answer some of the most common questions and concerns, as well as providing you with some strategies on prevention and spreading of the disease. This information has been summarized from the World Health Organisation (WHO) website.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a large family of illness that causes respiratory infection. Within this family are other diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and most recently discovered – COVID-19, which is the specific disease that began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
As COVID-19 is a new virus, current vaccines and cures remain elusive. Antibiotics do not work against virus so it is advisable to not be used as a form of treatment.
What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
The signs and symptoms of early stages of COVID-19 are mild and have a gradual onset. Its important to know some people do not present with any symptoms at all. The most common symptoms include: fever, tiredness and a dry cough. Less common symptoms include: General aches and pain, a runny or congested nose, sore throat and diarrhoea.
The incubation period (time between catching virus to beginning of signs and symptoms) of COVID-19 is between 1-14days, most commonly around 5days, which is why currently the quarantine time for anyone suspected of having COVID-19 is at 14days.
The majority of people (80%) will recover without special intervention. 1 in 6 will become seriously ill and have difficulty breathing. People with a fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
The elderly with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart issues or diabetes are more likely to develop serious illness.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The droplets from nose or mouth of an infected person can spread via direct or indirect contact. For example, an infected person coughs onto a surface, than another person touches that surface with their hands before rubbing their face and eyes can contract COVID-19. Another example may be if an infected person coughs and a person is so close that they actually breath the tiny droplets into their body. This is why currently the WHO is recommending people stay 1 meter away from anyone who is sick; prevent any possible droplet contact from a cough.
Regular use of hand sanitizers and hand washing will also ensure you don’t pick up COVID-19 from touching infected surfaces. Thus minimising the chances of you then wiping your infected hands onto your face where the virus can enter the body.
It is unknown exactly how long COVID-19 survives on surfaces. It has been estimated from few hours to several days, varies depending on environment. Therefore use of disinfectant regularly is recommended
Currently, WHO is suggesting COVID-19 is only transmitted via physical contact of droplets and NOT through the air. The lack of signs and symptoms in early stage of infection does make it less obvious that COVID-19 is present. To be extra precautious anyone that shows any of signs of ill health should self isolate. This means we are being extra vigilant in minimising the possible spread.
As there are no vaccine or cure, global containment is the current strategy for the outbreak.
What can you do right now to protect yourself & minimise spread of coronavirus?
– Thorough and regular hand washing and use alcohol-based hands rubs will kill the virus that maybe on your hands
– Maintain 1 meter distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing will prevent you from getting droplets, either by directly breathing in the droplets or touching a surface that has the droplets.
– Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, as these are all gateways for COVID-19 to enter the body. Our integumentary system (skin, hair, nails) are natural physical barriers, COVID-19 will not be absorbed through the skin but rather it can transmitted via for example, fingers rubbing eyes.
– Follow good respiratory hygiene – Cough and sneeze into your bended elbow when necessary. Use tissues and dispose of immediately after coughing and sneezing. Both of these will minimize spread of droplets.
– Self quarantine is recommended if signs and symptoms are present.
– Wearing of masks is only applicable to those who have signs and symptoms. Wearing of masks will not stop you from touching infected surfaces.
What is Quay Health doing for COVID-19 pandemic?
As an allied health clinic, we are aware we have a lot of foot traffic from clients all across Sydney, which is why we are taking the current WHO recommendations very seriously. Rest assure Quay Health is doing everything we can to keep the clinic disease-free and minimising any possible spread of COVID-19.
Our clinicians will continue to practice responsible respiratory and hand-washing hygiene, wiping down treatment tables and equipment with alcohol wipes after every patient and changing of towels regularly.
We have provided and encourage all our patients and staff to use the hand sanitizers provided around the clinic.
If you have a booking to see any of our practitioners and you do not display any of the signs and symptoms then we encourage you to keep your appointment.
If you do display some of the signs and symptoms, we recommend you to reschedule your appointment to a later date. During this time, seek further medical advice.