COVID-19 is an infection caused by a type of Coronavirus. This class of viruses usually originate from animals and spread to humans (a process called zoonotic infection). In the case of COVID-19, human-to-human spread has also been occurring. The primary means of spread seems to be saliva-droplet based spread. This is the same as the common cold and the seasonal flu.
COVID-19 seems to be more infectious than the seasonal flu with an infection rate of 2 to 3-times higher than the seasonal flu. At this point the data shows that most people who contract COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms and recover fully without major intervention. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
There is currently no vaccine or treatment to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus.
The following precautions are recommended:
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Particularly before meals and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also recommended as a suitable disinfectant
COUGHING AND SNEEZING:
- Ensure you and those around you practice good respiratory hygiene.
- Cover your mouth and nose at all times with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze
- If using a tissue, dispose of it immediately.
- Maintain at least a metre distance between yourself and anyone who may be coughing or sneezing.
- Whilst we know it’s in our culture to greet warmly, for the next while it may be better to avoid handshakes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household disinfectant cleaning spray or wipes.
- There is currently no data to support that pregnant women are more vulnerable to the virus. Nonetheless we do recommend you take extra precaution if you are pregnant
TRAVELLING: If you are considering travel, or are currently traveling:
- Cancel non-essential travel to regions where community spread has been documented.
- If returning home from a high-risk region, we encourage self-imposed home quarantine.
- It is important to note that the SA Port Authorities may potentially soon be quarantining individuals who have arrived from a high-risk region.
- After any travel, or any potential risk exposure, be aware of any signs and symptoms developing within 14 days. Please contact us if you have any concerns regarding your symptoms.
- There is no data to support that children are more vulnerable to the virus. Most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in China have occurred in adults, and the disease appears to be largely asymptomatic (meaning individuals do not experience any symptoms). Children have shown to only experience minor symptoms.
- It is however important that children be taught and comply with the guidelines to minimise the risk of infection.