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What to do during the Corona virus epidemic – or any flu-like outbreak

Corona virus is a new flu-like virus. A number of challenges are associated with such new types of viruses:

  • Like with any virus, antibiotics will not help.
  • There are no vaccinations available for such new viruses as they appear.
  • Especially people with weakened immune systems are at risk (elderly, children or people with health conditions). But anyone can become sick, and also a source of infection (even before any symptoms occur).

Simple measures can reduce your risk of contracting such viruses, and will help stem the spread. These tips are common practice even in the absence of a new virus: the common flu causes ~400,000 deaths each year (source).

  • Frequently wash hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or warm water and soap (my extra tip: don’t shake hands with anyone)
  • Cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing. Don’t sneeze in your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough
  • Seek early medical help if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share 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 foods. My extra tip: revisit your shopping, cooking, and eating habits – these viruses stem from animals like pigs and poultry. E.g. Corona virus originated from a fish market.

Part of this information originates from this article in the Guardian.

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