Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Symptoms and Prevention

What is the Coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Since then, it has made its way to Singapore. Here is everything you need to know to weather through this viral outbreak.

What Symptoms To Look Out For

Symptoms to look out for in a person who contracted coronavirus include:
• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) believes that the symptoms may appear between 2 to 14 days.

How to Protect Yourself

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty. Most sanitzers are 99.9% alcohol. Read: Proper Way to Wash Your Hands.

Practice respiratory hygiene. When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue. This is to prevent the spread of germs and viruses. Discard the tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Maintain social distancing as the coronavirus is a respiratory disease. Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between you and particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus and become infected.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Your hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.

Practice food Safety. Cook your meat thoroughly. Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products and handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices. Use different chopping boards and knives for raw meat and cooked foods. Wash your hands between handling raw and cooked food.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Stay home when you are sick. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, but have no travel history or being to China, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered.

If you had traveled and suffered the same symptoms, do seek medical help as respiratory symptoms with fever can have a range of causes depending on your travel history.

Follow CDC’s recommendations for using facemask. Facemask should be used by people who show symptoms of 2019 novel coronavirus, in order to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility). If you are well, there is no need for you to wear a facemask.

Be safe. Stay in good health. Connect with Us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram for more parenting ideas, career guidance and behind-the-scenes peeks.

Meiling Wong

Meiling is a Singaporean mom who loves spending time with her 2 kids until they ditch her for slime-making and digital gaming. These days, she keeps herself busy trying to keep up with the social media while still contemplating if she should learn how to play "Clash Royale".

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