Essential precautionary and safety measures against coronavirus for seniors
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is threatening the world with its deadly outbreak. Identified coronavirus cases have been steadily on the rise, all over the world. The epidemic is more rampant in coastal areas and regions where there are prevalent animal and seafood markets. The origin of the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) was reported to have come from persons who were exposed to animals who already had the virus.
Affecting mostly the respiratory system, COVID-19 causes symptoms similar to deadly pneumonia. In some cases, the virus may also affect the neurological system. Fever has been observed to be a common symptom in nearly 90% of the reported cases. About 80% of the patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 had dry cough and fatigue.
With the number of reported cases increasing day-by-day, the CDC and WHO have issued genera and travel advisories. Seniors who are prone to respiratory disorders need to follow precautionary measures to avoid COVID-19. Additionally, those seniors who travel or commute frequently also need to consider certain safety measures against coronavirus. Here are a few safety guidelines against coronavirus issued by WHO.
Basic precautionary measures
Some of the basic precautionary measures include the following.
- Washing hands frequently
The most basic preventive measure is to clean hands thoroughly and regularly. It is highly important to wash hands for at least 20 seconds especially before eating, after going to the bathroom, and after coming back from the outdoors. Make sure to use hand rubs or sanitizers that have at least 60%–95% alcohol. Another option would be to use soap and slightly warm water. This will kill the viruses that may be present on the hands.
- Maintain social distance
When in public spaces, ensure to keep at least a meter or about three feet distance from anyone who is sneezing or coughing. This is because when a person sneezes or coughs, small droplets are sprayed from their mouth or nose. These droplets may contain viruses. If the person coughing or sneezing has COVID-19, the coronavirus will be in the droplets. There is a risk of breathing in the droplets when standing too close to such people.
- Avoid toughing face
Our hands touch many surfaces throughout the day. Viruses can be easily picked up from any of these surfaces. The virus will be transferred from the contaminated hands to the eyes, mouth, or nose. This way the virus will easily enter the body leading to sickness.
- Follow respiratory hygiene
Ensure to follow stringent respiratory hygiene habits. Always cover nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands to cover your mouth and nose. Make sure to dispose of the tissue instantly into a closed bin after use. Also, thoroughly wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-rub after sneezing or coughing and when caregiving a sick person. Good respiratory hygiene will protect everyone from viruses that cause not only COVID-19 but also common cold and flu.
- Seek immediate medical care in case of sickness
If you are feeling unwell, it is recommended to stay indoors. Those who have a fever, cold, cough and experience breathing difficulties need to seek immediate medical attention. Make sure to follow the instructions of the local health authorities. Make sure to call in the local healthcare provider in advance so that they can immediately direct to the most suitable healthcare facility.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces
Viruses can easily transfer from objects and surfaces to hands. So make sure to clean surfaces and objects that are frequently touched. Regular cleaning wipe or spray can be used for cleaning.
- Follow CDC/WHO advisory for facemasks
Facemasks are not recommended for those who are healthy. Facemasks should be only worn by those who have COVID-19 or the symptoms of the disease. A person who is coughing or sneezing must also wear a face mask. Health care workers and those who are involved in the caretaking of the sick must also wear facemasks.
Safety measures for those traveling
The CDC has issued travel health notices for countries that have widespread coronavirus outbreak. It has been recommended to avoid nonessential travel, especially to China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, and Japan. If travel is necessary, make sure to follow the following guidelines.
- Avoid physical contact with sick people and those with symptoms similar to COVID-19.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands.
- Always carry along tissues, hand rubs or sanitizers, face mask, and other essential hygiene products. The supplies of these products may be limited. So it is best to carry these along.
- Do not travel if sick.
It’s important to be updated on all the latest information on the coronavirus outbreak that WHO and CDC release regularly on their website. National and local public health authorities are also frequently releasing advisories. Keep abreast of these advisories as well to safeguard against coronavirus.