What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is one of many coronaviruses. According to the World Health Organization: Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.

Symptoms

Fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.

If you have symptoms, stay home.

Take the COVID-19 self assessment test or call Health Link at 811

How It Spreads

COVID-19 is not airborne and cannot spread through the air over long distances or times, like the measles. It can spread up to a distance of 6 feet (2 meters).

It is thought the virus may survive for a few hours on a surface, though it may be possible for it to survive several days under some conditions.

The virus can spread:

  • Between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet or 2 meters of each other)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • By touching contaminated objects or surfaces contaminated with COVID-19, then touching the eyes, nose or mouth

Prevention

Hand Washing
Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing and before touching your face. If running water is not available, use an alcohol base hand rub.

Physical Distance
Physical distancing involves avoiding close contact with other people. If you have to be around people, keep 6 feet (2 meters) between you. Physical distancing can help prevent the virus’s rapid spread, help keep those most at risk safe, and ultimately keep our healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Touching
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Avoid hugging, kissing, shaking hands or otherwise touching other people. Safe greetings include waving, nodding or bowing.

Respiratory Hygiene
This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands.

Keep Your Environment Clean
Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched and shared surfaces such as counters, doorknobs, light switches, electronic devices, etc.

Self-isolation

Self-isolation must be practised if you have symptoms, have come in contact with an infected person or if you have travelled anywhere outside of Canada.

Self-isolation means you are to stay at home and limit contact with others.

Treatment

There is no vaccine, or medicine for COVID-19 at this time.

Supportive care is being used to treat patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

Coping

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a significant impact on Albertans’ emotional and mental well being. This may result in depression, abusive behaviours, apathy, anger, confusion, fear. Resources are available.

Mental Health Help Line Call: 1-877-303-2642

Family Violence Information Line Call: 310-1818

Mental health and coping with COVID-19 (CDC)
Help in Tough Times (AHS)

Tips

  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Limit your news consumption
  • Exercise- i.e. walk, stretch, practice deep breathing
  • Be gentle with yourselves and others

For more information: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

Help Prevent the Spread!

 

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