Coronavirus: Situation

Coronavirus continues to spread globally, and more recently, in the Middle East. We’ve created an assessment to help prepare and protect you and the ones around you.

COVID-19 – What You Need To Know

Dr. Rami Said talks through who’s at risk and what are the preventative measures you can take to protect your family and yourself.

COVID-19 – Facts

Mode Of Transmission

 

Person-to-person transmission
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

 

Transmission from contact with infected surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

WHO/CDC News Feed

Illnesses

 

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed (COVID-19) cases.
Common symptoms that may appear  1-14 days after exposure are:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Generalized fatigue

COVID-19 – Prevention & Personal Hygiene

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

 

Simply put, stay at home!

 

As a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • It is not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

 

If you are sick

 

You can use our initial assessment tool to assess your risk

 

  or 

 

 

Stigma

 

At this time most people in the UAE  have little immediate risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. However, some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma towards Chinese or other Asians. Stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease.

 

Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. We can fight stigma and help not hurt others by providing social support. We can communicate the facts that being Chinese or Asian does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.

 

People—including those of Asian descent—who have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of COVID-19 or been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of acquiring and spreading COVID-19 than others.
  • Viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.
  • People from affected countries that live in the UAE may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in the region. Facing stigma can make fear and anxiety worsen. Social support during this outbreak can help them cope.

 

People who have returned from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms are not infected with the virus and contact with them will not give you the virus.
  • People who have traveled to areas where the COVID-19 outbreak is happening to help have performed a valuable service to everyone by helping make sure this disease does not spread further.
  • Helping fight an outbreak can be mentally and emotionally challenging. These helpers need social support upon their return.
  • The UAE government is responding to the outbreak and updating Travel Health Notices, as needed.

 

Do not believe everything you read on the internet. If you need more information on COVID-19, speak to one of our doctors now!

 

COVID-19 – Myths

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the virus. Health at Hand’s Medical Dr. Ruhil Badiani talks through who’s at risk and what are the preventative measures you can take to protect your family and yourself.

COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections.

 

2.  What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

 

3.  What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.

 

4.  How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

 

5.  What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread of disease?

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly wash you hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol based sanitizer.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
  • Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider.

 

6. How likely am I to catch COVID-19?

The risk depends on where you are – and more specifically, whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak unfolding there. If you exercise social distancing and strict personal hygiene the risk of catching COVID-19 will be low.

 

7. Should I worry about COVID-19?

Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.

 

8. Who is at risk of developing severe illness?

While we are still learning about how COVID-2019, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.

 

9. Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the COVID-19?

No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work.

 

10. Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for COVID-19?

Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care. Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under development.

 

11. Is COVID-19 the same as SARS?

No. The virus that causes COVID-19 and the one that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are related to each other genetically, but they are different. SARS is more deadly but much less infectious than COVID-19.

 

12. Should I wear a mask to protect myself?

Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19.

 

13. How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?

The “incubation period” means 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.

 

14.  Can humans become infected with the COVID-19 from an animal source?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals. Occasionally, people get infected with these viruses which may then spread to other people. Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed.

 

15.  How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.

 

16.  Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.

 

17.  Is there anything I should not do?

The following measures ARE NOT effective against COVID-2019 and can be harmful:

  • Smoking
  • Taking traditional herbal remedies
  • Wearing multiple masks
  • Taking self-medication such as antibiotics

In any case, if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early to reduce the risk of developing a more severe infection and be sure to share your recent travel history with your health care provider.

 

Referenced from World Health Organization (WHO).

COVID-19 – Around the world

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation Dashboard