Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). First identified in 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has since spread globally, resulting in World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the 2019-20 outbreak a pandemic.
Symptoms: Fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Also fatigue, muscle pain, sputum production and sore throat in some. Can progress to severe pneumonia and multi-organ failure. The rate of deaths per number of diagnosed cases is on average 3.4%, ranging from 0.2% in those under 20, to approximately 15% in those above 80 years old. Patients with preexisting conditions, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease, are most at risk and represent the vast majority of deaths.
Contagion: Infection is typically spread from one person to another via respiratory droplets produced during coughing and sneezing. Time from exposure to onset of symptoms is generally between two and 14 days, with an average of five days.
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on WHO website and through the national and local public health authority
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills the viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? 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.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? 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 make you sick.
Practise respiratory hygiene
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. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breating , seek medical attention and call in advance using the helpline number. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? Local authorities will have the most up-to-date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Follow the guidance outlined above.
Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Why? Avoid contact with others and visits to medical facilities will alow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call the helpline number in advance and tell your provider any recent travel or contact with travellers
If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19 infection.
Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
You are not required to get tested for COVID-19 if you do not have any symptoms (Cough, fever or difficulty in breathing)
If you have any of the above symptoms and have travelled to any of the COVID-19 affected countries including Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain, Germany, UAE etc or you are a contact of a laboratory confirmed positive case immediately call the State Helpline Number or Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India's 24x7 helpline 011-2397 8046 or the State/District helpline for COVID-19 (Helpline Number for East Garo Hills is +91 9485113132)
The helpline service will note down your contact details and contact you with the testing protocols of COVID-19.
If you qualify as a case for testing as per the protocol, you will be tested at a Government approved lab only
List of Government approved labs is available at Indian Council of Medical Research website