How can you prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection?
With the newly discovered COVID-19 currently plaguing the world, governments have imposed strict health protocols to ensure that their people are safe. This meant temporarily closing establishments and businesses, prohibiting mass gatherings, and imposing mandatory self-isolation and quarantine procedures.
The coronavirus pandemic has rendered nearly everyone to continue their work or studies at the safety of their homes. Frontliners or essential workers such as those working in the healthcare, transportation, food and security industries are risking their lives to protect and serve the people. To prevent the surge of COVID-19 cases, one must consistently follow the safety precautions recommended by experts.
What are the COVID-19 symptoms?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided a list of coronavirus symptoms for everyone to check whether or not they have COVID-19 manifestation and if there is a need to seek urgent medical attention.
Not everyone who catches the virus succumbs to death. Some are even able to recover by just staying at home. An isolation period of at least two weeks must be observed to guarantee that you are completely safe from the virus. If one’s condition worsens as time passes or if the infected has preexisting health conditions, it is highly urged that one visit a hospital right away.
Along with the list of COVID-19 symptoms, the United States federal agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines on how to take care of coronavirus patients. The CDC guideline states that elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are of higher risk of being infected with this highly infectious disease. It is recommended that they see a doctor right away once they start manifesting symptoms.
But for those at risk of having a high mortality rate, it is advisable that caregivers limit their contact with them as little as possible. Caregivers should strictly avoid using the same items as the sick and should stay in separate areas. Both parties are required to wear the appropriate face masks and gloves to avoid being infected and infecting others.
How is COVID-19 transmitted?
There are three modes of COVID-19 transmission:
- through respiratory transmission when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or expels saliva;
- through aerosol transmission when virus particles remain suspended in air;
- through contact transmission when a virus-infected surface is touched by an individual who then touches his or her eyes, mouth, or nose.
Experts have figured out that the virus that causes coronavirus spread can occur among humans in three ways: through symptomatic transmission, pre-symptomatic transmission, and asymptomatic transmission. Symptomatic transmission occurs when a person is in contact with the respiratory droplets of another coronavirus patient. Pre-symptomatic transmission also happens when a person contracts the virus from another infected person. But this time, the person afflicted with the virus is unaware that he/she is sick. One can be infected with the virus and oftentimes, the symptoms will only appear after one to three days.
Coronavirus transmission is possible even before the symptoms begin to manifest on the one who has it. Those with mild symptoms or none at all are also capable of transmitting the virus to others. This is called asymptomatic transmission. However, there is not enough research about asymptomatic transmission and experts continue to debate over the severity of its consequences. Even WHO, retracted its statement saying that asymptomatic cases are rare. The statement had earned strong pushback from medical experts as the public could misinterpret and assume that asymptomatic transmission is unlikely to happen.
Because of the presence of person-to-person asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is remarkably clear why authorities and medical experts are insisting that the public regarding home isolation and quarantine guidelines. As long as the uncertainty of not knowing if someone has the coronavirus disease exists, it is best if everyone follows recommended guidelines for the sake of public health and safety.
What are the 3C’s of COVID-19?
We already know that there are three modes of COVID-19 transmission but we also have to consider the three situations (or 3 C’s) that could increase the risk for coronavirus spread. The 3C’s of COVID-19 are closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places, and close-contact settings. Use the COVID-19 3C’s in a Yes/No question format to evaluate your risk in a particular environment. The more frequent you answer YES, the higher the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Is it a closed space with poor ventilation?
Is it a crowded place?
Is close-contact setting a possibility?
Barbershops & Salons, elevators and grocery stores have been found to be particularly high risk places. In the case of barbershops, the use of hair dryers encourages droplet seeding in addition to the 3C’s.
Take a look at the following locations that fall under the COVID-19 3C’s:
- Workplaces or Office Buildings
- Condo Buildings with Shared Facilities
- Classrooms, Seminar Halls, Training Centers
- Places of Worship
- Elevators, Stairwells
- Mass Gatherings
- Open Parks, Botanical Gardens
- Wet Markets, Farmers Markets
- Amusement Parks, Theme Parks, Water Parks
- Trains, Subways, and Transit Terminals
- Cruise Ships, Passenger Ships
- Airports and Airplanes
- Hospital, Emergency Rooms
- Healthcare Facilities, Medical Clinics
- Gyms, Sports Centers
- Nursing Homes and Day Care Centers
- Restaurants, Bars, Cafes
- Supermarkets, Grocery Stores
- Malls, Shopping Centers
- Movie Theater, Cinemas, Concert Halls
- Live Music Events, Music Festivals
- Karaoke Bars, Lounges, Party Rooms
- Prisons, Jails, Detention Centers
- Meat Processing Facilities, Slaughterhouses
- Food Manufacturing Sites, Factories
For example, there is evidence to suggest that there is a much higher risk of contracting coronavirus in jam-packed elevators, in subways, and in a hospital ward full of virus-infected patients because these are all enclosed spaces with possible poor ventilation, crowd buildup, and unavoidable close contact with each other. It means that these locations will highly yield the YES answer to all the COVID-19 3C’s questions.
Workplaces, supermarkets, and movie theaters are all enclosed spaces but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s too many people in close contact with each other at all times. It might or might now yield the YES answer to all the COVID-19 3C’s questions but it all depends on the situation.
Open-air live concerts, garden weddings, al fresco restaurants, and amusement parks might be located outdoors but they are either characterized as having potential crowd buildup or close-contact settings. Though it might not yield the YES answer to all the COVID-19 3C’s questions, there is a possibility that all three modes of coronavirus transmission exist in places like these whether it is respiratory transmission, airborne transmission, or close-contact transmission.
What is the recovery time for COVID-19 patients?
The question that comes to mind is what happens if one does catch the coronavirus? Experts say that the outcome is highly dependent on many factors including the severity of the patient’s condition and the response level of the immune system. Also, more research is needed but what we do know is that survivors of COVID-19 do have organ dysfunction and upto a third of survivors have lingering mental health issues.
For those with mild COVID-19 symptoms, it is expected that they are able to return to their usual – but still quarantined – lifestyle. They can recover anywhere between a week to ten days. The recovery process is similar to respiratory viral infections such as the flu.
Those with moderate COVID-19 symptoms recover at a slower pace than those with milder symptoms. It usually takes the body several weeks to fully recover and before that, one might experience uncomfortable and prolonged bouts of fatigue, breathing difficulties, and coughs.
People with severe COVID-19 symptoms suffer the most and are likely to be hospitalised and placed under intensive care. A ventilator may be needed especially since the symptoms will likely aggravate one’s lungs and cause additional respiratory ailments such as Pneumonia set in. The COVID-19 virus is also capable of making the human body’s own immune system work against itself. In order to combat the virus, the immune system unleashes a “cytokine storm”.
Cytokines are immune system proteins that are mostly found in patients suffering from severe coronavirus diseases. It is also present in autoimmune diseases such as juvenile arthritis. It can also be triggered by some cancer treatments and infections like the flu. The cytokine storm, instead of fighting the COVID-19 virus, will start to fight the body’s own cells and tissues. Because it is a powerful inflammatory response, it may cause lung tissue damage, respiratory failure, and even death.
How does hospital solitary confinement prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection?
WHO urges all patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms to be admitted for hospital solitary confinement. With the COVID19 virus spreading at an alarming rate, it is important to stay at home to prevent the surge of COVID19 cases. However, healthcare facilities all over the world are already overwhelmed with the large number of confirmed cases being handled. WHO recommends health professionals to attend to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions first as they are the ones with high mortality rates. Those with mild symptoms could opt to self-isolate at home. As long as the caregivers at home practice self-isolation and social distance protocols, everything will most likely go on smoothly.
The CDC has released notes regarding proper coronavirus diagnosis. These contain facts about the virus such as its symptoms, precautionary measures, and self-isolation or quarantine procedures. While many fraudulent schemes claim to have the long-awaited vaccine or treatment or cure for the Coronavirus disease, the FDA has ruled them out and continues to warn the public against buying these fraudulent items.
How do home quarantine measures prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection?
Lockdowns, temporary closing of businesses and establishments, and ban on mass social gatherings have become the norm. They are the perfect visual metaphors for the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus itself may not be seen with the naked eye but the ramifications it brings are extremely life threatening. Not only is it detrimental to one’s health, it has also caused countless of major inconveniences in everybody’s lives.
The coronavirus disease is acquired when a person gets in contact with the respiratory droplets of a person with the Coronavirus disease. In addition, one can catch the virus by touching a surface contaminated by the virus. It is even more dangerous now that we know that not everyone shows the major symptoms of the disease. One can harbor the virus but still only experience mild symptoms. This is why the importance of home quarantine measures is always emphasized by experts.
With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, people are forced to alter their daily routines. Words like “quarantine” or “isolation” are no longer read in history or medical books; it is now practiced all over the world.
There is however, a big difference between isolation and quarantine. Coronavirus isolation is practiced if an individual is exposed to the COVID19 virus or is already sick. This prevents the infected from transmitting the virus to other people. On the other hand, individuals who are not infected practice coronavirus self-quarantine. These people are protecting themselves from contracting COVID-19 by staying in the safety of their homes and limiting their contact with other people.
How does handwashing prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection?
Constant handwashing is one of the foolproof ways to protect oneself from getting infected with the coronavirus or being an unknowing perpetrator of the COVID-19 spread. Even before this pandemic, handwashing has proved itself an effective method of preventing oneself from catching diseases. In fact, one prevents the onset of multiple diseases if you wash your hands often with soap in between activities.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens are now obligated to clean and disinfect their hands with soap and water every time they touch a foreign object or surface. It might seem like an overreaction but since the COVID-19 virus can contaminate surfaces and stay alive on them, it is better to be safe than sorry. However, one must ensure that proper handwashing techniques are observed to guarantee that there are no traces of the virus left on one’s hands. Proper handwashing is done by using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If unavailable, using hand sanitizers that are made of at least 60% alcohol will suffice to disinfect and kill the virus.
How do face masks prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection?
Face masks have become an everyday essential item in nearly everyone’s life. Gone are the carefree days of leaving the house with just your phone, keys, and wallet. Upon the issuance of strict health protocols by governments all over the world, one of the mandatory guidelines included is the usage of face masks, preferably N95 respirators or higher. But with the shortage and price surge of the appropriate face masks and other PPEs, experts say that even homemade cloth masks are substantially better than nothing.
While wearing face masks or cloth face coverings may seem uncomfortable, people should not have the option to choose not to wear it. Its usage is significant during this pandemic to prevent COVID-19 spread. Washington-based Dr. Richard Davis, the Clinical Microbiology Lab Director at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, effectively demonstrated the importance of face masks through an experiment. He posted the results on Twitter where it quickly caught the attention of hundreds of thousands of Twitter users.
Research finds that a single cough can produce up to 3,000 droplets. One cannot imagine the repercussions a single unmasked person can cause.
How does physical distancing prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection?
The surge of COVID19 cases is caused by the rapid spread of the virus throughout the world. Experts have figured out how transmission works and their advice to the public is simple: maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other people. Along with the other recommended ways to prevent the transmission of virus, physical distancing will greatly help in flattening the curve. That is because one can contract the Coronavirus disease by just being around other people. One can never know if the person next to you is a carrier of the virus. After all, experts have found Coronavirus disease transmission to still be successful even if the host is experiencing only mild or no symptoms at all. To ensure that one prevents getting infected or infecting others, one should treat other people as if they are potential carriers of the virus.
How do PPEs prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection?
PPE, otherwise known as Personal Protective Equipment, is meant to protect medical frontliners from any of the infectious risks present in the workplace. Previously utilized only in the toxic work areas of hazardous industries as recommended by OSHA, its usage has now transcended beyond those bounds because of the COVID19 pandemic. Personal Protective Equipment used by hospital and medical workers include isolation gowns, clean non-sterile gloves, face shields or goggles, and N95 or higher respirators. However, there is a shortage in PPEs worldwide because of hoarding, panic-buying, rising demands, and misuse. Without the appropriate PPE, healthcare workers are subject to the life-threatening dangers of COVID19.
Instructions on how to properly utilize and discard PPEs can be found in the CDC website. Furthermore, guidelines on how to optimize the supply of PPEs have also been released as supplies are still limited.
How can I help prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection?
You can find out if you have been exposed recently or have protection from a prior Sars-CoV-2 infection that causes COVID-19. Statcare is listed on New York City’s website as a leading testing site and has performed over 7,000 of COVID-19 Nasal Swab Test and COVID-19 Antibody Blood Test. Statcare’s mobile staff have been doing on-site testing for large employers, nursing homes, Utility, and Telephone Companies. All test results are discussed by online doctors over a Televisit. This virtual doctor visit can be conveniently done from your home or office within the hour and online prescriptions sent to a pharmacy near you. You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection by scheduling a telehealth visit with our online doctor today.