Please use this page as a reference guide to help you stay informed regarding Covid-19. This information has been responsibly sourced from the NHS and other widely trusted websites.

Find information here to understand the following:-

 

  • how COVID-19 spreads, so that you can minimise the risk of becoming infected or spreading the virus;

  • which individuals are extremely vulnerable or at high risk if they are exposed to COVID-19;

  • the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, so that you can identify if you or someone you may know may have the virus;

  • how long people affected by COVID-19 should self-isolate and what is meant by self-isolation;

  • how long COVID-19 survives on different surfaces; and

  • how to prevent the spread of COVID through enhanced hygiene measures, including cleaning and disinfecting potentially affected surfaces.

 

Understand How COVID-19 spreads, so that you can minimise the risk of becoming infected or spreading the virus;

The transmission of COVID-19 is thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets generated by coughing and sneezing, and through contact with contaminated surfaces. The predominant modes of transmission are assumed to be droplet and contact.

Symptoms of Covid-19

Source https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

 

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

·       a high temperature: this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

·       a new, continuous cough: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

·       a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste: this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

 

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.

 

Source - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/

People at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable)

 

People at high risk from coronavirus include people who:

  • have had an organ transplant

  • are having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy

  • are having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer

  • are having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)

  • have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)

  • have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine

  • have been told by a doctor they have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)

  • have a condition that means they have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)

  • are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)

  • have a serious heart condition and are pregnant

 

Information: 

If you're at high risk from coronavirus, you should have received a letter from the NHS.

Speak to your GP or hospital care team if you have not been contacted and think you should have been.

 

If you're at high risk from coronavirus, you're advised to take extra steps to protect yourself.

This is called shielding.

See what to do if you're at high risk from coronavirus.

People at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable)

People at moderate risk from coronavirus include people who:

  • are 70 or older

  • have a lung condition that's not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis)

  • have heart disease (such as heart failure)

  • have diabetes

  • have chronic kidney disease

  • have liver disease (such as hepatitis)

  • have a condition affecting the brain or nerves (such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy)

  • have a condition that means they have a high risk of getting infections

  • are taking medicine that can affect the immune system (such as low doses of steroids)

  • are very obese (a BMI of 40 or above)

  • are pregnant – see advice about pregnancy and coronavirus

What to do if you're at moderate risk

 

If you're at moderate risk from coronavirus, you can go out to work (if you cannot work from home) and for things like getting food or exercising. But you should try to stay at home as much as possible.

It's very important you follow the general advice on social distancing, including staying at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with.

Unlike people at high risk, you will not get a letter from the NHS.

Information: 

Get help and support

If you're at a higher risk from coronavirus, you can get help from an NHS volunteer with things like getting food, medicines and other things you need.

Call 0808 196 3646 (open 8am to 8pm) to get help from NHS Volunteer Responders.

Other things that can affect your risk

A report by Public Health England found that other things might also mean you are more likely to get seriously ill from coronavirus.

These include:

  • your age – your risk increases as you get older

  • being a man

  • where in the country you live – the risk is higher in poorer areas

  • being from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background

  • being born outside of the UK or Ireland

  • living in a care home

  • having certain jobs, such as nurse, taxi driver and security guard

See the full report on disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 on GOV.UK.

How long people affected by Covid-19 should self-isolate and what is meant by self-isolating? Please go to the NHS website link provided below for more information regarding self isolating.

 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/

How Long Does the Coronavirus Live on Surfaces?

 

The coronavirus can live for hours to days on surfaces like countertops and doorknobs. How long it survives depends on the material the surface is made from.

Here's a guide to how long coronaviruses -- the family of viruses that includes the one that causes COVID-19 -- can live on some of the surfaces you probably touch every day.

Keep in mind that researchers still have a lot to learn about the new coronavirus. But you’re probably more likely to catch it from being around someone who has it than from touching a contaminated surface.

Different Kinds of Surfaces

 

Metal 
Examples: doorknobs, jewellery, silverware
5 days

 

Wood 
Examples: furniture, decking
4 days: 

Control Spread of Coronavirus

As COVID-19 spreads, what habits should we practice in our daily lives to avoid infecting others? WebMD’s Chief Medical Officer, John Whyte, speaks with U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams to address common questions and misinformation about this virus.

 

Plastics 
Examples: milk containers and detergent bottles, subway and bus seats, backpacks, elevator buttons
2 to 3 days

Stainless steel 
Examples: refrigerators, pots and pans, sinks, some water bottles
2 to 3 days

Cardboard 
Examples: shipping boxes
24 hours

Copper 
Examples: pennies, teakettles, cookware
4 hours

Aluminium 
Examples: soda cans, tinfoil, water bottles
2 to 8 hours  

Glass 
Examples: drinking glasses, measuring cups, mirrors, windows
Up to 5 days

Ceramics 
Examples: dishes, pottery, mugs
5 days

Paper 
Examples: mail, newspaper
The length of time varies. Some strains of coronavirus live for only a few minutes on paper, while others live for up to 5 days.

Food 
Examples: takeout, produce
Coronavirus doesn't seem to spread through food.

Water 
Coronavirus hasn't been found in drinking water. If it does get into the water supply, your local water treatment plant filters and disinfects the water, which should kill any germs.

Fabrics 
Examples: clothes, linens
There’s not much research about how long the virus lives on fabric, but it’s probably not as long as on hard surfaces.

 

Shoes

One study tested the shoe soles of medical staff in a Chinese hospital intensive care unit (ICU) and found that half were positive for nucleic acids from the virus. But it’s not clear whether these pieces of the virus cause infection. The hospital’s general ward, which had people with milder cases, was less contaminated than the ICU.

Skin and hair

There’s no research yet on exactly how long the virus can live on your skin or hair. Rhinoviruses, which cause colds, survive for hours. That’s why it’s important to wash or disinfect your hands, which are most likely to come into contact with contaminated surfaces.

Coronavirus Transmission: What You Need to Know

 

What You Can Do

To reduce your chance of catching or spreading the new coronavirus, clean and disinfect common surfaces and objects in your home and office every day. This includes:

·       Countertops

·       Tables

·       Doorknobs

·       Bathroom fixtures

·       Phones

·       Keyboards

·       Remote controls

·       Toilets

Information sourced from:-

https://www.webmd.com/lung/how-long-covid-19-lives-on-surfaces

 

Use a household cleaning spray or wipe. If the surfaces are dirty, clean them first with soap and water and then disinfect them.

You can also make a bleach solution that will be good for up to 24 hours. Mix 5 tablespoons (one-third cup) of household bleach per gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons per quart of water. Never mix bleach with ammonia or another cleanser. Leave cleaners or bleach solutions on surfaces for at least 1 minute.

Keep surfaces clean, even if everyone in your house is healthy. People who are infected may not show symptoms, but they can still spread the virus.

Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds after you visit the drugstore or supermarket or bring in takeout food or a delivered newspaper.

It's a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables under running water before you eat them. Scrub them with a brush or your hands to remove any germs that might be on the surface. If you have a weakened immune system, you might want to buy frozen or canned produce.

There’s no evidence that anyone has gotten the virus from food packaging. But if you want, you can wipe down take-out containers or grocery items and let them air dry.

Wash or disinfect reusable grocery bags after each use. Wash used fabrics often, using the warmest water that the manufacturer recommends. Dry them completely. Wear disposable gloves when handling an ill person’s laundry. Throw them away when you’re done, and wash your hands.

The virus probably won’t survive the time it takes for mail or other shipped items to be delivered. The highest risk comes from the person delivering them. Limit your contact with delivery people as much as you can. You might also leave packages outside for a few hours or spray them with a disinfectant before bringing them in. Wash your hands after you handle mail or a package.

If you want, you can disinfect the soles of your shoes and avoid wearing them indoors.

If you want to read further information and keep up to date with all the latest information. Please follow the link

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

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