WHAT IS COVID-19*?
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV; Wuhan coronavirus), is positive-sense, enveloped, single-stranded RNA coronavirus, firstly identified by authorities in Wuhan, Hubei, China.2019-nCoV is a contagious virus that causes respiratory infection and has shown evidence of human-to-human transmission. Genetic sequences of named 2019-nCoV have shown similarities to SARS-CoV.
Coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets:Coronavirus causes a disease called COVID-19, which we commonly refer to as the coronavirus.
- The coronavirus spreads with droplets invisible to the eye which are spread by an infected person through breathing, talking, coughing, or sneezing.
- The virus also spreads through surfaces which have been touched by an infected person, or where the droplets with infection have landed.
- In a closed room the virus particles can disperse up to 2 metres. The virus will survive up to 4 to 5 days at the room temperature and at 40% relative humidity. The higher the temperature and the higher the relative humidity, the faster the virus is destroyed.
This means that the infection spreads very fast: by round three one infected person has become seven to ten infected persons, and by round ten the number of infected persons has increased to 57,000!
Coronavirus is even more infectious than influenza!
Coronavirus is highly infectious:
- Every person infected with the coronavirus infects an average of 2 (more exactly 2 to 2.5) other persons. They in turn infect each two or more persons, etc. More the infected person comes into contact with other people, more likely they are to spread the infection. There is a case in South Korea where 70 people were infected by one person carrying the coronavirus.
The most common symptoms of the coronavirus are fever, coughing, and breathing difficulties. People infected with coronavirus display most commonly one or more of the following symptoms: fever, dry cough, fatigue, sputum, breathing difficulties, muscle and joint pain, throat pain, headache.
Fever, cough, and breathing difficulties are the most common symptoms. However, every person infected with coronavirus may display different symptoms. A person may be infected but have no symptoms or very mild symptoms, and the person feels completely healthy.
If you have a fever, cough or breathing difficulties, seek help early, and call your family doctor.
The symptoms of the coronavirus occur within 2 to 14 days. The incubation period of the disease is 2 to 14 days, with an average of 5 days. This means the time it can take from the moment of infection until a person starts to feel sick and develops the first symptoms. In the meantime, however, the person is infecting others without being aware of it.
Most people only have mild coronavirus symptoms, but especially for older people and for people with chronic diseases the course of the disease may be more serious – they might need hospitalisation and even die of the disease.
However, there are also cases in Estonia where the disease has been very serious for younger and healthier people.
A person infected with the coronavirus may not have any symptoms at all: It has been found that with some people infected with coronavirus, and who pose a risk of infection to the others, display no symptoms, and feel completely healthy.
Therefore, everyone should be careful because everyone could be unknowingly infected and transmit the virus.
PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS FROM THE SPREAD COVID-19*
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and others. Why? When someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person has the disease.
- Avoid going to crowded places. Why? Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COVID-19 and it is more difficult to maintain physical distance of 1 metre (3 feet).
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and infect you.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others. Why? Avoiding contact with others will protect them from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
- If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call by telephone in advance if possible and follow the directions of your local health authority. Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
- Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources, such as WHO or your local and national health authorities. Why? Local and national authorities are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.
- Safe use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. To protect yourself and others against COVID-19, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water. If you use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, make sure you use and store it carefully. Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers out of children’s reach! Teach them how to apply the sanitizer and monitor its use. Apply a coin-sized amount on your hands. There is no need to use a large amount of the product. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose immediately after using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, as it can cause irritation. Hand sanitizers recommended to protect against COVID-19 are alcohol-based and therefore can be flammable. Do not use before handling fire or cooking. Under no circumstance, drink or let children swallow an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It can be poisonous.
Remember that washing your hands with soap and water is also effective against COVID-19.
CHEMI-PHARM AGAINST CORONAVIRUS
Health care workers should perform hand hygiene frequently and in particular after removing gloves and gown; before removing a mask/facial protection or respirator; after touching respiratory secretions and after leaving the room; preferably using an alcohol-based hand rub (60-90%) within at least 15–30 seconds or soap and water if hands are visibly soiled.Alcohols have immediate and notable activity against many different enveloped viruses such as coronaviruses, orthopoxvirus, influenza A virus, herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2, Newcastle disease virus, togavirus, vaccinia virus, BVDV, HBV, HCV,HIV etc.
Chemi-Pharm AS has a long selection of alcohol-based hand and surface disinfectants that are tested against various enveloped viruses.
Besides alcohol-based products, we have various virucidal disinfectants for surfaces and medical instruments with active ingredients like amines, quaternary ammonium compounds etc, presented in our homepage.
Hand and skin disinfection: