The Novel Coronavirus (Covid 19) is a highly virulent virus, originally located in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China. The virus has been swift to spread and has resulted in many deaths from pneumonia. The timing for this outbreak was particularly difficult as it occurred at the start of the Lunar new year celebrations when many Chinese people travel to join friends and family. The Chinese were swift to act to try and contain the virus. They put most of the province in lockdown and restricted travel and congregations of people as much as they could. They were also extremely quick to share the genetic makeup of the virus to enable the rest of the world to begin developing specific screening and start working on potential vaccines.

This regularly updated and comprehensive article will help you learn all the facts about the Novel Coronavirus? Help you recognise whether you may have caught Novel Coronavirus? Also known as Covid-19.

Summary of key points:
Symptoms of Coronavirus:
Dry cough
Fever
Breathlessness
Aching muscles and extreme tiredness
For most people (80%) it is a relatively mild dose of flu.

For some people, it can lead to serious complications, particularly pneumonia and can kill.

Why is everyone so worried about the Novel Coronavirus?
This Coronavirus is new and is a mutation from animal disease. We cannot predict how it will continue to mutate.

This virus is highly contagious – more than other flu viruses

The novel coronavirus can cause serious complications in people who are immuno-compromised, have other pre-existing medical conditions and the elderly.

This virus can lead to serious pneumonia that is extremely difficult to treat.

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for the virus itself.

How to reduce the risk of catching the novel Coronavirus
Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly using soap and hot water

What should I do if I think I have caught it?
If you think you have been exposed to the virus:

Do not visit your GP, pharmacist or hospital – stay at home and visit the Health Direct Symptom Checker. or call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing severe shortness of breath or life-threatening symptoms please call 000 immediately.

They will arrange for you to be tested

Tests can take between 20 hours and a few days to receive results

Quarantine yourself at home for the next 14 days as it can take this long for symptoms to appear

Do not go to the supermarket – arrange a delivery of essential items to your home, but minimise your contact with delivery personnel to ensure you do not infect them and put them at risk.

Rest

Increase your fluids

Take painkillers and flu remedies to ease symptoms

Phone 000 if you experience increasing breathlessness and are concerned you may be developing complications or pneumonia.

Rest at home
Your body will need plenty of sleep and rest to fight the infection. Go to bed, drink plenty of hydrating fluids and the majority of people will make a full recovery within 5 to 7 days.

Take paracetamol, throat lozenges, cough medication if you need them. Just as you would if you had a regular cold or flu. Avoid Ibuprofen (Nurofen) as French medics have indicated that they believe this could make things worse.

Keep hydrated

It is vitally important to drink plenty of water, even if you are not thirsty.

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water than it takes in. This is very common when you are ill.

A fever makes you sweat.

The coronavirus also causes breathing difficulties. Breathing faster releases more moisture.

A small minority of people with the coronavirus note diarrhoea as a symptom. This can lead to a rapid loss of fluids and electrolytes as well.

Drink plenty of water, juice or soup. Avoid coffee, caffeinated tea and alcohol as these are diuretics and will further dehydrate you.

Prevent spread

It is important to isolate yourself in a well-ventilated room, with the windows open. If you live with other people, sleep in a separate bed or room, and use a different bathroom if possible.

Avoid public areas and transportation. Stay away from anyone who is elderly or with underlying health conditions who could be easily and seriously infected.

If you have a mask, wear it when coughing and anyone caring for you should also wear a mask to protect themselves. Once wet, masks will no longer provide a protective barrier.

Protect yourself and others:

Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing and before eating or drinking.

Cough into tissues then flush them away and keep 2 metres apart from people where possible.

If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

For more information and regular updates on the Covid-19 pandemic visit the World Health Organisation website

We strongly recommend that you attend a First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Please visit hotresponsefa.com.au, info@hotresponsefa.com.au or tel 0429881353 for more information about our courses.

Hot Response First Aid Training provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. Hot Response First Aid Training is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.