SARS-CoV-2, more commonly known as Wuhan’s new coronavirus or novel coronavirus, is the newest member of the betacoronavirus family that has been traveling around the world from China. With South Korea in second place and Italy in third place in list of the most infected countries, Canada also has its first cases. In fact, three people are infected in Toronto. The risk of spreading to the community remains, however, very low, Toronto Public Health reassures. Let’s find out more about COVID-19 that is creating fear and dismay around the world. But don’t worry, experts assure that in 80-90% of cases it is a normal flu that can be healed within a few days. Prevention is the key to restrict the spread of contagion.
Symptoms and precautions for Coronavirus
The symptoms of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 are generally the same as a common flu: so cough, fever, sore throat and breathing difficulties. Only in subjects with a complex clinical picture, therefore, suffering from diabetes or other pathologies, or of advanced age, they can become more severe. Therefore, pneumonia, kidney failure and, in 2.3% of cases, death occur. If, on the one hand, the mortality rate is relatively low, on the other the contagiousness index is 2.28. This means that an infected person can transmit the virus to up to 2/3 people.
But how to avoid contagion? Just follow simple and basic rules. One: wash your hands often and with soap and water or alcohol-based solutions. Two: cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze and throw it right away. Three: keep a substantial distance from other people when sneezing or coughing. Four: avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands if you have symptoms or if you have been in contact with people having some of the symptoms of the disease. Five: stay home if you have flu symptoms. Finally, avoid getting in touch with people coming from areas at risk.
Advice from University of Toronto
With the first confirmed cases in the city of Ontario, University of Toronto has decided to draw up a sort of vademecum. First, it advise students with flu symptoms not to attend classes until they are completely healed. Stay indoors and equip with antipyretics, cough syrups and throat pastilles. And also a thermometer, and disinfected wipes or sprays, with at least 60% alcohol. Personal and surface hygiene is recommended. Moreover, call Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000 or 1-866-797-0007 for any clarification. Those who have recentely travelled to a country at risk, although they do not have flu symptoms, should call this numbers too.
While those who have travelled internationally to an affected region and have some of the obove mentioned symptoms should call the family doctor or the campus health center. And in the meantime, self-quarantine themselves at home, for at least 14 days. In fact, the incubation of the disease is estimated that it last two weeks. Therefore it is better to avoid contact with other people. We also advise people to cancel or postpone their trip to China and other countries where Coronavirus is present. For those who where on the January 22 flight from Guangzhou, the TPH has set up the toll-free number, 416-338-7600, Monday to Friday, from 8.30 to 14.30, to report it.
Remember that prevention is really important but, at the same time, we should therefore not be too alarmed, and there’s no need for panic. Because fear and psychosis lead nowhere.