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14 Precautions You Should Take to Prevent Coronavirus Infection

The coronavirus “2019-nCoV”, a.k.a  “Wuhan pneumonia”, which outbreak started off in Wuhan, a city in mainland China, during December 2019, has now spread to other countries. For the real-time update of the numbers of confirmed cases, please see here.

 Coronavirus MAP, real time result, 2019-nCoV, global epidemic
credit: Johns Hopkins CSSE

As of 28 January 2020, there are 8 known cases in Hong Kong. The diagnosed patients were admitted and quarantined in hospitals. However, it is the coronavirus is airborne and that it can be transmitted between people. Therefore, we should stay vigilant about the spread of the disease.

What are the symptoms?

coronavirus symptoms, runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever
credit: CBS3

 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
In more severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
The incubation period of the coronavirus remains unknown. Some sources say it could be between 10 to 14 days.

 How do we prevent the coronavirus?

 WHO is recommending that people take simple precautions to reduce exposure to and transmission of the virus.

The UN agency advises people to:

  • Frequently wash their hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or warm water and soap;
  • Cover their mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing, and dispose of used tissues into a lidded rubbish bin, then wash hands thoroughly;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough;
  • Seek early medical help if they have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share their travel history with healthcare providers;
  • Avoid direct, unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals when visiting live markets in affected areas;
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products and exercise care when handling raw meat, milk or animal organs to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked food

To prevent the outspread of pneumonia and respiratory tract infection, the Department of Health (DH) and the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of Hong Kong also strongly advise the public to:

  • Maintain drainage pipes properly and regularly (about once a week) pour about half a litre of water with bleach into each drain outlet (U-traps) to ensure environmental hygiene;
  • When having respiratory symptoms, wear a surgical mask, refrain from work or attending class at school and seek medical advice promptly;
  • Avoid going to crowded places;
  • Avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms; 
  • Do not consume game meat and do not patronise food premises where game meat is served;
  • Avoid unnecessary travel to Wuhan of Hubei Province. If it is unavoidable to travel to Wuhan, put on a surgical mask and continue to do so until 14 days after returning to Hong Kong;
  • Avoid close contact with persons with fever or respiratory symptoms;
  • Avoid visiting hospitals

In the meantime, we wish everyone stay healthy and we will all successfully battle against coronavirus together!

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