Thursday 4 June, 2020

Ministry of Health issues tips to combat coronavirus

Coronavirus Testing AP

Coronavirus Testing AP

The Ministry of Health in Barbados continues to be on the alert when it comes to the deadly coronavirus, and is appealing to Barbadians to be on guard as well.

The respiratory illness, which originated in the Chinese province of Wuhan, has now spread to 12 countries outside of China with all of the cases identified outside of China being imported cases.

With currently no vaccine to prevent infection, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has insisted that the best way to prevent contracting the virus is to avoid exposure.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a set of preventative and everyday measures which the Ministry of Health wants Barbadians and visitors on island to follow as a means to preventing the possible spread of the respiratory virus if it reaches these shores.

Safety Tips:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of a novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals
  • The consumption of raw or under-cooked 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.

Currently, there is still no treatment for coronavirus and for those infected with the virus, the CDC believes they should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. 

Coronavirus Prevention Tips

People who think they may have been exposed to coronavirus should try to contact their healthcare provider immediately.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS – CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS – CoV).

Signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath as well as breathing difficulties in more severe cases. The infection can cause pneumonia, kidney failure, and even death. The novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not previously been identified in humans.

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