Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new version of virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. People with coronavirus may experience:
• flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
• shortness of breath
Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person. Good hygiene can prevent infection.
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.govt.nz.
You can also call Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
How to minimise the risk of getting sick:
The most important thing to do is practice good hygiene. This means:
• covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or coughing/sneezing into your elbow
disposing of used tissues appropriately in a bin.
• washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water and drying them thoroughly, or using hand sanitiser: before eating or handling food, after using the toilet, after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses, after touching public surfaces.
• trying to keep a metre away from people who are unwell
• limiting alcohol and drug use (as this may affect your ability to adequately follow the advice above).The measures above are especially important for people who have existing health conditions, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease or who are immunocompromised.
This is also a link to a very handy online Coronavirus Checker.
We can all do our bit by following the Ministry of Health’s guidelines.