Wash Your Hands – Don’t Touch Your Face
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. The most common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, aches and pains or diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people don’t develop any symptoms whatsoever and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without requiring any special treatment. Approximately only 1 in 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and have difficulty breathing. Especially older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to become seriously ill. About 2% of people with the disease have died. Those who experience fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately.
The “incubation period” is the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.
How You Catch the Virus
The Coronavirus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also get infected if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. It is important to stay more than 2 meters (6 feet) away from a person who is infected.
Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the air?
Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.
Stop the Coronavirus from spreading by following these 6 simple steps:
1. Frequently clean hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub.
2. When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
3. Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or a cough.
4. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider and use the face mask to protect others. (People with no respiratory symptoms, such as cough, do not need to wear a medical mask. Use a mask only if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing), have suspected COVID-19 infection with mild symptoms, or are caring for someone with suspected COVID-19 infection. A suspected COVID-19 infection is linked to travel in areas where cases have been reported, or close contact with someone who has travelled in these areas and has become ill. The use of masks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone at home or in a health care facility).
5. Avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces contacted by animals.
6. The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to nine days (Robert-Koch-Institute Munich). This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
You would be surprised by how many people don’t wash their hands properly. Do you know the correct hand washing procedure? You’ve been doing it all your life – but have you been hand washing (or disinfecting) correctly?
Here’s how surgeons wash their hands
This video demonstrates how bacteria is passed on
Good hand hygiene can significantly reduce the spread of germs. Follow these 8 steps to perfect your hand washing technique.
Hand Washing: 8 steps to clean hands
Did you know to wash your hands thoroughly, you need to rub your hands together using soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds to get them properly clean? Teach your little one to take the time to do it properly. Make it fun; singing happy birthday twice is around the right time that you need to do a thorough job – you can even sing it out loud together! Show the shapes with your hands that you’re making and get them to copy you. You could even ask your little-one to show you how to wash your hands. The odd little reminder may be needed but it’s amazing how quickly they’ll be reminding you to wash your hands!
1. Wet hands with clean, warm running water
2. Apply a small amount of soap
3. Rub your palms together (away from the water)
4. Rub your fingers and thumbs and bits in between
5. Rub your nails on your palms
6. Rub the back of each hand
7. Rinse with clean running water
8. Dry with a clean towel or paper towel
When your toddler needs to wash their hands
Praise your child for getting it right. Remember the adage of ‘an action rewarded is an action repeated’.
Three key points for them to get right is to wash hands:
- Before eating any food
- After every time they have visited the toilet or used the potty.
- Before being involved in preparing any food
Even if your child isn’t an aspirant chef, if you’re in the kitchen together and you are going to prepare food, show them that you’re washing your hands.
Naturally, if they come into contact with any germy messes, if they’ve been touching any cuts or grazes or even if they’ve been playing outside it’s always good to get them in the habit of washing their hands because as you well know, those little fingers have a habit of getting into everything you don’t want them to!