The best way to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), so far, is through simple and basic actions proposed by health authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health (WHO).
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use of alcohol-based disinfectant gels (minimum concentration of 60 and 80%).
- Avoid direct contact with people who are sick. Keep distance of more than one meter with people sick with any respiratory disease. Avoid hand and kiss greetings.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially when walking in the street. Wash hands before and after, if you do it.
- If you have symptoms of a cold and cough stay at home and cover yourself with masks so you don’t spread it to others.
- When sneezing or coughing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside angle of your elbow.
Scientists and health authorities in different parts of the world are investigating more effective measures to control the outbreak, such as the development of an antiviral and vaccine.
There are still many questions that are being clarified day by day, related to the transmission of COVID-19. Although the virus spreads through droplets in the air, transmission through infected items are still concerning. Some related to food and surface contagion include:
The spread when eating infected foods is possible, however it may not be common. COVID-19 and other coronaviruses have been detected in the feces of some patients.
People who handle food should follow elementary rules such as hand washing.
Hand washing, the main measure
Hand washing with soap and water should last at least 20 seconds, before and after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after cleaning the nose, coughing or sneezing. In addition to washing, you can reinforce the measure with an alcohol-intensive hand disinfectant gel (at least 60% alcohol).
Disinfect hard surfaces
It is necessary to disinfect contact surfaces that are constantly exposed. Although it is known that the virus only survives a few hours, both alcohol and chlorine can be used to disinfect surfaces, provided that these recommendations are followed:
Cleaning and disinfecting contact surfaces at least once a day, either with alcohol, chlorine solution or disinfectant wipes.
It’s also a good preventive measure to clean and disinfect surfaces that are exposed to multiple contacts such as handles, handrails or railings, computer keyboards, cell phones, keys, among others.
Sprayer with chlorinated solution
Use a spray with chlorine water (dilution of 8 ml of chlorine per liter of water). Label it and change the solution daily. Spray surfaces and let them dry on their own.
At 75% ethanol can also be used to disinfect surfaces.
Face masks, yes or no?
There are no definitive studies that prove that masks prevent infections. In addition, masks are designed for different purposes, and some only protect against infectious diseases.
Wearing a mask as a precaution makes sense if we’re in the middle of an outbreak. That is, they can be helpful so that those who are sick do not spread the coronavirus or any other germ, and for health personnel or caregivers who are in close contact with sick patients. We encourage you to follow the indications of the WHO and Government Health Authorities regarding COVID-19. Together we’re stronger, and our teamwork is showing that we can fight and defeat this invisible enemy
Source: Pan American Mexico, Insurance company in Mexico branch of Pan American Life Insurance Group in the US