Tue, 25 February 2020
With two confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 now in Bahrain and growing concerns among the public, we spoke to Bahrain Specialist Hospital(BSH) Internal Medicine Consultant, Dr. Syed Muneebuddin Ahmed, who provided our readers with excellent preventative measures.
1. Wash your hands frequently
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub eliminates the virus if it is on your hands.
2. Practice respiratory hygiene
When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Why? Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.
3. Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
Why? When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like 2019-nCoV, coughs or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.
4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
5. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Tell your health care provider if you have traveled in an area in China, Hong Kong, Iran, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand where 2019-nCoV has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has traveled from these countries or other countries that reported new cases of the infection.
Why? Whenever you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing it’s important to seek medical attention promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Respiratory symptoms with fever can have a range of causes, and depending on your personal travel history and circumstances, 2019-nCoV could be one of them.
6. If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to countries mentioned above, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and seek medical help.
7. Follow periodic public health announcements in this regard and call the number 444 that is stated in the announcements already published by the Ministry of Health if you have further queries
Dr. Syed Muneebuddin Ahmed
Internal Medicine Consultant