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Coronavirus: first signs and recommendations for prevention

Ministry of Health of Belarus reported that the peak of the disease in the country was expected in late April - early May. In this regard, we'll tell you what preventive measures are recommended by the WHO to follow and how to recognize the first signs of coronavirus in yourself and your loved ones.

Ways of spreading

The disease is transmitted from person to person through small droplets released from the nose or mouth by sneezing and coughing. The droplets fall on surrounding objects and surfaces. Infection can occur by touching these objects and then in the eyes, nose or mouth. Infection can also occur when small droplets are breathing, which are released when sneezing and coughing with contaminated COVID-19. It is therefore important to maintain a distance of more than 1 meter.

How can you get coronavirus?

Mechanisms of disease transmission:

  • by airborne droplets;
  • airborne dust;
  • fecal-oral;
  • through contact with an infected person.
  • Where you can get infected:
  • in public places;
  • in medical facilities;
  • in domestic contact with an infected person.

There is no immunity after the disease - you can be re-infected. If you become infected again and again, the disease is more severe than it was the first time and causes severe complications to the respiratory system.

How the coronavirus begins: symptoms

Contaminated COVID-19 has the following symptoms:

  • pain in swallowing and sneezing;
  • rhinitis;
  • headache;
  • reduced oxygen content in the body or individual organs and tissues;
  • coughing;
  • temperature rise;
  • chill;
  • muscle pain;
  • loss of taste.

Lightweight form COVID-19

In the mild form of infection, COVID-19 shows slight headache, increased fatigue, sore throat, coughing, muscle pain, pallor and chills. In rare cases, the infected person has a runny nose.

How long does the COVID-19 incubation period last?

The incubation period is about 5 days, but can last from 1 to 14 days. Even if the infected person has no symptoms, he or she is a vector of the virus from the first days of infection and can infect others.

How do I recognize the first signs of COVID-19?

Signs of coronavirus include respiratory syndromes, fever, coughing, breathing problems and respiratory disorders. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or acute respiratory distress, severe acute respiratory syndrome, renal failure, and death of an infected person.

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to those of acute respiratory syndrome or flu, so if you have fever for a few days, cough, sneeze or other symptoms, seek medical attention.

В России обнаружили коронавирус. Главное - Ведомости

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How not to confuse COVID-19 with the flu

The symptoms of influenza and coronavirus are similar in that they both have frequent dry coughs and high body temperatures. However, it is possible to distinguish influenza from coronavirus infection, as there is no shortness of breath or other breathing problems during the flu.

Coronavirus tests

Coronavirus tests are taken from a person on admission to the hospital. If you feel unwell, seek medical attention. If you want to take a coronavirus test, but do not feel unwell, then call the hotline at the Ministry of Health, where you will be informed about further action.

Coronavirus diagnosis

Coronavirus manifests itself in varying degrees of severity, so one of the tasks of the diagnosis is to identify patients in a timely manner, in which the disease may progress into severe form. For this purpose, appropriate biomarkers are identified. Depending on the severity of the disease, blood tests are carried out to guide the patient and respond in a timely manner to changes in his condition.

Critical patients have an increased content of markers of inflammatory processes in plasma.

Serological tests are still under development. At the end of February, the first reports on the creation of tests based on the determination of specific antibodies in the body appeared. A method of combined blood testing for both IgM- and IgG-antibodies to the virus was tested. Testing for immunoglobulins M makes it possible to determine the fact of recent virus infection, while testing for immunoglobulins G determines the presence of infection at later stages of the disease. Testing time is 15 minutes, and the final sensitivity and specificity during the trial was 89% and 91%.

Laboratory methods to detect dangerous infection

Laboratory diagnostics are performed using tests to detect coronavirus RNA. The main biomaterial to be tested is a nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal smear.

Recommendations for prophylaxis

Only the person who will go on long self-isolation can fully protect himself from the coronavirus. However, for various reasons it is not possible to maintain full domestic quarantine - one way or another, you need to go out to the store, walk your dog, go to work or study.

In order to minimize the risk of infection, the following recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of Belarus should be followed.

Rule 1: Wash your hands often with soap

To reduce the risk of coronavirus and other infections, WHO recommends washing your hands with water and soap as often as possible - this reduces the number of germs on your hands.

Hands should be washed for 20 minutes, grabbing areas of the palms and forearms. When washing your hands in public places, it is better to use paper towels rather than dryers.

Rule 2. Keep distance and etiquette

The minimum distance between people in public places shall be 1-1.5 meters. Also avoid using the same dishes, mask and handkerchief, do not eat with dirty hands.

Rule 3. Lead a healthy life

Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and junk food for a while, as it weakens your immunity. During the virus, give more fruits and vegetables as well as vitamins A, E, D and C to your diet.

Rule 4. Protect your respiratory system with a medical mask

The Ministry of Health of Belarus gives the following recommendations for the use of medical masks:

  • wash hands with soap and treat with an alcohol-containing solution;
  • hold the mask by tie-loops or rubber bands close to the face with the white side inside and fix it with tie-loops or rubber bands when the mouth and nose are fully covered;
  • at the end, give the mask a flexible strip of shape to ensure that it fits snugly into the face;
  • remove the product by holding the tie bars or elastic bands at the back without touching the front of the mask;
  • throw the mask into a lockable waste container;
  • wash hands with soap or treat with an alcoholic solution;
  • if necessary, put on a new mask.

Rules for use of the mask:

  • use the mask for a maximum of 2 hours;
  • if the mask is wet or moistened, it should be replaced immediately;
  • do not touch the secured mask with your hands;
  • wash hands thoroughly with soap or treat with alcohol-containing solution after touching the mask used or used;
  • do not reuse disposable masks;
  • disposable masks must be washed separately, after washing, stroke with a hot iron on both sides.

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What if someone in the family has the flu or coronavirus infection?

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus recommends Level 1 and Level 2 contacts to go under 14 days quarantine. Quarantine measures for Level 1 and Level 2 contacts are tightened daily.

If you show signs of pneumonia, fever and cough during isolation, you should see a doctor who will inform you about further steps. If you have returned from another country and found symptoms, your doctor should inform you that you were abroad.

If the coronavirus test shows a positive result, the doctor will inform the local health authorities and the patient will be hospitalized in a specially equipped isolation ward. At the hospital, doctors will monitor you and every few hours you will have to take your temperature and take a coronavirus test every fourteen days.

Is it possible to catch COVID-19 from a person who does not show any signs?

In some cases, those infected may have no symptoms, i.e. the virus test will be positive, but you will not have to worry about sickness. But even if you have no symptoms, you are still contagious. However, the risk of infection from such a person is extremely low. Also, many people have very few symptoms of coronavirus. This is common in the early stages of the disease. In such cases, patients are hospitalized to further monitor and prevent the virus from spreading.

How do you protect older people?

Older people are part of the COVID-19 risk group, so try to help your older relatives with shopping in stores or pharmacies if possible to minimize the risk of infection. If you live in the same apartment as an older person, it is recommended that the whole family go to isolation.

The World Health Organization recommends that you stay home and go to work remotely if possible. If you feel the first symptoms of coronavirus, you should see a doctor immediately. Take care of yourself and stay at home!