If you suspect that you have Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus that arose in the Chinese city of Wuhan, or have questions about how to protect yourself, this guide contains the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health on how to act before the expansion of SARS-CoV-2.
1- How can I prevent infection?
Wash your hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water.
Cough or sneeze covering your mouth and nose with your elbow flexed or with a handkerchief.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Keep at least a meter of distance between you and other people, especially those who cough, sneeze, and have a fever.
Limit large meetings as much as possible.
2- What do I do if I suspect I am infected?
The rapid explosion of positive cases registered has changed the scenario on how to proceed. The declaration of the state of alarm obliges all citizens, whether or not they have symptoms, to remain in their homes for at least 15 days except for the purchase of food, basic necessities, care of dependent persons, goes to the work and similar activities in order to stop infections.
If you have symptoms, contact the health services by phone, they will assess your condition and tell you whether or not you should go to a health center. If symptoms are fine, they will initially recommend that you continue home isolation. If you have compatible symptoms with Covid-19 (fever, tiredness or dry cough), you have traveled to areas considered as the focus of infection (China, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Italy or Spain) or have been in close contact with an infected person the first measure you should take is home isolation for at least 14 days. You can follow the following protocol:
The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients also experience pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea.
If you have severe breathing problems, such as difficulty breathing, always seek medical attention or contact your local emergency service. Anyone who is hospitalized for an acute respiratory infection will undergo a coronavirus test when other possible infectious causes that may justify the clinical picture have been ruled out, regardless of whether they have been in close contact with an infected person or have traveled to a focus of infection in the previous two weeks.
3- How do I know if I have been in close contact with a positive case?
It is considered “close contact” when it has been kept at a distance less than two meters from a probable or confirmed case for continuous-time (it will depend on each case and at the discretion of the authorities or practitioners).
The distance at which the virus can be transmitted from human to human is about two meters.
In tourism, all occupants can be exposed to the virus.
In a 55-seater bus, between 14 and 21 occupants can be seen exposed.
In the economy class cabin of a conventional airplane, 12 to 25 people could be exposed.
4- How to live with someone infected with coronavirus?
To isolate a person infected with coronavirus in his own home, it is advisable to have a room exclusively for him. It is also advisable not to share a bathroom with the infected person and, as far as possible, avoid meeting the patient in other rooms of the home to comply with the protocol of keeping at least one meter away from any positive case.
When you live with someone infected with the Covid-19, a thorough daily cleaning is essential to avoid new infections. Special attention should be paid to surfaces that the infected person may have touched.
The person in charge of cleaning should wear a mask and gloves.
For cleaning, a solution of bleach water should be used: one part of disinfectant for every 49 of water.
Clean all frequent contact surfaces daily: door handles, tables, switches, taps, toilets, telephones, and keyboards.
The dishes and tools should be washed with hot soapy water, preferably in a dishwasher to reach 60º.
The patient’s clothes can be washed separately with usual soap at a temperature between 60º and 90º. Let it dry completely.
The contaminated residues of an infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can be dangerous for the safety of other people who live with it. Therefore, the correct treatment of the generated remains can avoid possible infections. It is essential to use disposable cleaning elements, to properly insulate the trash in a plastic bag, and exhaustive personal hygiene after treating this waste.
Throw the gloves and mask in the trash and wash your hands next.
Trash should be in a closed plastic bag.
The infected person’s towel will have a single-use and will be put in a specific bucket.
5- What does the coronavirus test consist of?
The test is based on taking samples from the respiratory tract. It is carried out by a health care professional at home, generally when the case study is asymptomatic or symptoms are mild, or in a health center, if the patient is admitted for a serious condition.
If the test is negative, the case is dismissed. Only if it is positive or inconclusive, new samples are taken, which must be sent to the National Center for Microbiology (CNM):
- Pair of sera taken with a difference of between 14 and 30 days: the first serum should be collected in the first week of illness. If it is only possible to collect a serum sample, it must be taken at least 14 days after the onset of symptoms in order to confirm the presence of specific antibodies.
- Feces and urine: To confirm or rule out virus excretion by alternative routes to the respiratory route in positive patients.
6- What happens if they confirm that I have the Covid-19?
If you do not have symptoms or the symptoms are fine, the health authorities will prescribe home isolation and extreme hygiene measures so as not to infect caregivers, such as the use of masks, hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol-based disinfectant. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing any special treatment.
If symptoms are severe, they will recommend hospital admission. There is no specific antiviral medication to treat Covid-19. Most patients recover with the help of supportive measures to alleviate symptoms.
7- How do I know that I have been cured?
To satisfy the confirmed cases will require:
8- Can I get it again?
There is no scientific evidence to show that a person who has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 can re-become infected once the disease is overcome. However, the WHO has warned that those infected with Covid-19 can continue to infect even when they have overcome the disease, so it requests to keep them in isolation for two weeks after the symptoms disappear.