With the increased transmission of Covid-19, it is vital to understand how to keep yourself and the people you support healthy.

WHAT ARE CORONAVIRUSES? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some coronaviruses cause illness in humans and others cause illness in animals, such as bats, camels and civets. Human coronaviruses generally cause mild illness, such as the common cold.   Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve to infect and spread among humans, causing severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)  which emerged in 2002, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) which emerged in 2012.
Human coronavirus. Computer artwork of a Human coronavirus particle. Coronaviruses primarily infect the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract and can cause the common cold, gastrointestinal infections and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome
WHAT IS THE COVID-19 VIRUS? COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. It was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, where it has caused a large and ongoing outbreak. It has since spread more widely in China. Cases have since been identified in several other countries. The COVID-19 virus is closely related to a bat coronavirus. There is much more to learn about how COVID-19 is spread, its severity, and other features associated with the virus; epidemiological and clinical investigations are ongoing. Outbreaks of new coronavirus infections among people are always a public health concern. The situation is evolving rapidly.
HOW IS THE VIRUS SPREAD? Human coronaviruses are spread from someone infected with COVID-19 virus to other close contacts with that person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects.   The time between when a person is exposed to the virus and when symptoms first appear is typically 5 to 6 days, although may range from 2 to 14 days. For this reason, people who might have been in contact with a confirmed case are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Most COVID-19 cases appear to be spread from people who have symptoms. A small number of people may have been infectious before their symptoms developed.
HOW LONG DOES COVID-19 LAST ON SURFACES? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 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 (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).   If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with a common household disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? Patients may have fever, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and other symptoms. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COVID-19 AND THE FLU? The first symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza (flu) infections are often very similar. They both cause fever and similar respiratory symptoms, which can then range from mild through to severe disease, and sometimes can be fatal.  Both viruses are also transmitted in the same way, by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with hands, surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus. As a result, the same public health measures, such as hand hygiene (hand washing), good respiratory etiquette (coughing into your elbow or into a tissue and immediately disposing of the tissue) and good household cleaning are important actions to prevent both infections.
The speed of transmission is an important difference between the two viruses. Influenza typically has a shorter incubation period (the time from infection to appearance of symptoms) than COVID-19. This means that influenza can spread faster than COVID-19.  While the range of symptoms for the two viruses is similar, the fraction with severe disease appears to be higher for COVID-19. While most people have mild symptoms, approximately 15% of people have severe infections and 5% require intensive care in a hospital ICU.   The proportions of severe and critical COVID-19 infections are higher than for influenza infections.
I HAVE TRAVELLED TO ANOTHER COUNTRY. WHAT SHOULD I DO? The risk of exposure to COVID-19 is believed to be highest for those people who have travelled through a higher risk country. However, there are an increasing number of other countries at risk of COVID-19.   If you have travelled overseas to another country in the past 14 days you should self-monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing as much as possible and immediately isolate yourself if you become unwell.  
Social distancing means separating yourself from other people as much as possible when you’re in public places and avoiding crowded places. Practically, you should: •    attempt to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and others •    avoid crowds and mass gatherings, keep the appropriate distance away from others •    avoid small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations •    avoid shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people •    avoid visiting people 
During the 14 days you are asked to practice social distancing, you can travel to work or school using public transport if you have no other way of travelling there. Please try to separate yourself from other passengers as much as possible. You should also maintain hand hygiene by regularly cleaning hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
CLEAN YOUR HANDS: •    before entering an area used by other people •    after using the bathroom •    after coughing or sneezing •    before preparing food or eating •    practice good cough etiquette: cover your coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing (e.g. into elbow), dispose of used tissues, and clean your hands afterwards.

Published by bestpracticenursing

Best Practice Nursing Agency (BPNA) is a provider of high-quality nursing services offering experienced nurses with a wide range of expertise and distinctive value to health care organisations across Sydney and greater NSW. We specialise in providing qualified and competent nursing professionals for our clients to support challenging staffing requirements within a wide range of ‘hard to fill areas’. We understand the flexible nature of the healthcare sector and can support your ever-changing requirements. We are aware of the constant fluctuations in staffing within healthcare and are therefore able to fill your last-minute needs. We recruit and provide the services of the following nursing professionals:  Registered Nurses  Midwife  Practical Nurses  Endorsed Enrolled Nurses  Assistant in Nursing / Caregivers BPNA has forged strong relationships with healthcare organisations and we support and service private hospitals, medical centres, long term aged care facilities and private clientele across Sydney every day. We are passionate about the standards in staff and services we provide, and recognise the importance of reaching the highest quality and delivering the best in compassionate care. We have gained a reputation for our ability to quickly understand the specific staff needs of each healthcare service provider. We are proud to offer reliable, efficient and flexible service of immeasurable quality to ensure the continued function of healthcare facilities. We understand health care never stops, which is why BPNA operates 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year supporting nurses and hospitals with their staffing needs. ‘Join an agency run by Nurses for Nurses’

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