How to stop the spread of coronavirus? BTL News

By now, everybody must know about the coronavirus which is spreading around the world and has reached countries in every single region.

How to stop the spread of coronavirus

It's pretty scary stuff, especially if you look on social media. However, there are things that we can all do to protect ourselves, and particularly to help other people not to get ill. The first cases of coronavirus infection were seen in 'Wuhan' in Hubei province, China, in December 2019.

They came from an animal source, we know that from genetic sequencing of the virus itself. We don't know which animal it was but it’s pretty likely a wild animal and it may have come from a market where they were being sold for food. If you're feeling unwell with any sort of respiratory symptoms which means coughs and sore throats, for instance, you really must not go to the hospital you should stay at home and ring 111 in the UK.

Somebody will contact you and tell you what to do next. Masks, actually, are not helpful in protecting yourself, but they are very good for protecting other people if you have a cough, bad throat or fever and you think you might be infected. The trouble with masks is that if you take it off, it could be covered with a virus on the outside, that virus will get onto your hands and if you put your hands to your eyes, your nose or your mouth, you could get infected that way.

Just as with masks, the virus can actually collect on surfaces. It can be in the hands of somebody who is infected or on things they've touched. That means you need to wash your hands all the time. As regularly as you possibly can. Experts say the best way to wash your hands is with soap and water and take 20 seconds doing that. Which is the time taken to sing Happy Birthday twice? The public health experts say if you can't wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer instead. Schools have told the government to stay open.

For reasons we’re not sure about, children actually aren't very much affected at all. The people who are most at risk from this virus are older people and those who have underlying health conditions. If the World Health Organisation does declare a pandemic, it’s likely the UK government will move into the next stage of response. Measures, for instance, to give the Border Force greater powers so they could detain people arriving on a plane who is clearly ill, asking retired doctors to come in and help the NHS, and calling on volunteers to help staff public services. 

The other thing that they will probably do, of course, is to think about mass gatherings and whether some of those ought to be canceled. There are no drugs at the moment to treat people with coronavirus. We may get treatment for this, but actually, the only way finally to prevent this coronavirus infecting people is through a vaccine, that’s what we really need. And it will take probably 18 months to get there because these things have to be trialed in human beings and we have to be sure that they are absolutely safe as well as effective.

That may sound like a long time, but we may get some sort of respite in the summer. Just as with flu, this virus spreads between people at close quarters. In the summertime, they’re far less likely to be cooped up at home or anywhere else for that matter. There are many who think that you can protect yourself by having the pneumonia vaccine. 

It is unfortunate that's against bacterial pneumonia and this is viral pneumonia, so it isn't going to work. It is useful to have the flu vaccine, however, if only that means that you won't get flu and so you won't burden the health service. Probably, until we get a vaccine, we just have to take a lot of sensible measures to protect ourselves and, most importantly, protect the other people we know who are vulnerable because they are elderly or are they are infirm in some way.

That includes washing your hands a lot, probably includes actually not shaking hands with people or kissing them on the cheek, and it means staying at home if you feel unwell, and certainly not going to the hospital but calling first – use the telephone. I think we should get through this, and certainly, we will do once they have that vaccine.

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