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Prevention : Hand washing & Social distancing


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Prevention

Strategies for preventing transmission of the disease include maintaining overall good personal hygiene, washing hands, avoiding touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue, and putting the tissue directly into a waste container. Those who may already have the infection have been advised to wear a surgical mask in public. Physical distancing measures are also recommended to prevent transmission. Health care providers taking care of someone who may be infected are recommended to use standard precautions, contact precautions, and eye protection.

Many governments have restricted or advised against all non-essential travel to and from areas affected by the outbreak. The virus has already spread within communities in large parts of the world, with many not knowing where or how they were infected.

Misconceptions are circulating about how to prevent infection; for example, rinsing the nose and gargling with mouthwash are not effective. There is no COVID-19 vaccine, though many organisations are working to develop one.

Hand washing
Hand washing is recommended to prevent the spread of the disease. The CDC recommends that people wash hands often with soap and water for at least twenty seconds, especially after going to the toilet or when hands are visibly dirty; before eating; and after blowing one's nose, coughing, or sneezing. This is because outside the human body, the virus is killed by household soap, which bursts its protective bubble. CDC further recommended using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60 percent alcohol by volume when soap and water are not readily available. The WHO advises people to avoid touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. It is not clear whether washing hands with ash, if soap is not available, is effective at reducing the spread of viral infections.

Social distancing
Social distancing (also known as physical distancing) includes infection control actions intended to slow the spread of disease by minimising close contact between individuals. Methods include quarantines; travel restrictions; and the closing of schools, workplaces, stadiums, theatres, or shopping centres. Individuals may apply social distancing methods by staying at home, limiting travel, avoiding crowded areas, using no-contact greetings, and physically distancing themselves from others. Many governments are now mandating or recommending social distancing in regions affected by the outbreak. Non-cooperation with distancing measures in some areas has contributed to the further spread of the pandemic.

The maximum gathering size recommended by U.S. government bodies and health organisations was swiftly reduced from 250 people (if there were no known COVID-19 spread in a region) to 50 people, and later to 10. On 22 March 2020, Germany banned public gatherings of more than two people. A Cochrane review found that early quarantine with other public health measures are effective in limiting the pandemic, but the best manner of adopting and relaxing policies are uncertain, as local conditions vary.

Older adults and those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, hypertension, and compromised immune systems face increased risk of serious illness and complications and have been advised by the CDC to stay home as much as possible in areas of community outbreak.

In late March 2020, the WHO and other health bodies began to replace the use of the term "social distancing" with "physical distancing", to clarify that the aim is to reduce physical contact while maintaining social connections, either virtually or at a distance. The use of the term "social distancing" had led to implications that people should engage in complete social isolation, rather than encouraging them to stay in contact through alternative means. Some authorities have issued sexual health guidelines for the pandemic, which include recommendations to have sex only with someone you live with, and who does not have the virus or symptoms of the virus.

wikipedia.org

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