Friends, evidence is the basis of all recommendations. A recommendation is never static. It changes as new evidences flow in. With improved research, improved tools and with time we will know more of the 2019-novel coronavirus. Today, based on the available evidence, WHO has very clear and specific guidelines. As responsible citizens we need to act responsibly. We, who are particularly in Public Health have a bigger responsibility. To spread awareness.
All that is below is based on a single source of information. From World Health Organization. World Health Organization is a parent global body that has the mandate and the network to collaborate, collect, consolidate and communicate correct scientific information.
We should follow guidelines as provided by WHO because they are based on the latest available evidence.
None of what is written below is outside of information as provided by WHO.
Novel Corona Virus (2019-nCoV)
- What is nCoV? A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The new, or “novel” coronavirus, now called 2019-nCoV, had not previously been detected before the outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
- Myth Busters from WHO. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
- If you receive a letter /package from China, it is safe. Coronavirus does not survive for long on objects such as letters and parcels.
- Till date, there is no evidence that your pet cat and dog can be infected with the nCoV. But for purpose of hygiene, please wash your hands as you were doing before. That is a good health practice.
- There are no vaccines yet against nCoV.
- Rinsing nose with saline water and gurgling with mouthwash has no effect on nCoV. Rinse your nose if you wish to, gurgle with saline water if you wish to but do not do that with the illusion that it protects against nCoV.
- Some reports have talked of the protective action of sesame oil. No. Sesame oil has no protective role against nCoV.
- nCoV affects people of all age. However, people who are elderly or with preexisting medical conditions that affect immunity are likely to be more susceptible to the outcome of nCoV infection.
- No medicines including antibiotics have any role in preventing or treating nCoV.
- Self-protection against nCoV. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
- Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
- If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within China, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered, if possible
- As a general precaution, practice general hygiene measures when visiting live animal markets, wet markets or animal product markets. Ensure regular hand washing with soap and potable water after touching animals and animal products; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands; and avoid contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products. Strictly avoid any contact with other animals in the market (e.g., stray cats and dogs, rodents, birds, bats). Avoid contact with potentially contaminated animal waste or fluids on the soil or structures of shops and market facilities
- Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices
For more guidance visit, https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
- One question that is often asked by general public “Should I wear a mask in outdoor setting to protect myself from nCoV?”
I am not wearing a medical mask yet because I know World Health Organization has clear guidance on this.
- World Health Organization advises rational use of medical masks. Medical masks are a precious commodity in places where there is active outbreak of nCoV. Therefore, in other places where there is no active outbreak, medical masks must be used rationally so that the supply of this essential commodity to those who need it most is not affected.
- Wearing a mask is helpful to prevent some respiratory infections. But it alone is not a full proof guarantee against infections. Other prevention measures like hygiene, hand washing, standing 3 feet or more from other people is important too.
- What is rational use of mask?
- Wear a mask only if you have respiratory symptoms like cough and sneezing.
- You have suspected 2019-nCoV infection with mild symptoms
- You are caring for someone who is suspected with 2019-nCoV infection
- A suspected nCoV infection is related to a travel in China where the infection has been reported
- You are in close contact with someone who has travelled to China recently and has respiratory symptoms.