Coronavirus Covid-19 advice from Public Health doctor for the Midlands who reaches out to local people to play their part

Dr Una Fallon, Director of Public Health for the Midlands

Reporter:

Dr Una Fallon, Director of Public Health for the Midlands

As we work together to coronavirus Covid-19 Flatten the Curve, we are calling on the public to help us, as it is in your hands right now.

Slowing down the spread of Coronavirus is the only way we can truly prevail in this crisis. Please support your community health care professionals by playing your part. Stay at home. Wash your hands.  

If you need medical advice contact your GP and visit www.hse.ie

What symptoms should I be looking out for and what do I do if I think I am developing symptoms?

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear.

The main symptoms to look out for are:

·       a cough - this can be any kind of cough, not just dry

·       shortness of breath

·       breathing difficulties

·       fever (high temperature - 38 degrees Celsius or above) or chills

If you develop symptoms you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone. If they think you need to be tested for coronavirus, they will arrange a test.

How is the Covid-19 spread?

Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. To infect you, it has to get from an infected person's nose or mouth into your eyes, nose or mouth. This can be direct or indirect (on hands, objects, surfaces). Keep this in mind. It will help you remember all the things you need to do to protect yourself and others from the virus.

How do I protect myself and others from coronavirus?

Follow this advice as strictly as possible and encourage others to follow this advice too.

Do:

·       Wash your hands properly and often.

·       Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.

·       Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.

·       Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

·       Avoid close contact with people - keep a distance of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and others.

·       Avoid crowded places, especially indoors.

·       Follow the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

·       Stay at home if you are sick to help stop the spread of whatever infection you may have.

Don't:

·       Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

·       Do not share objects that touch your mouth – for example, bottles, cups.

·       Do not shake hands.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals.

Some of the things you can do:

·       keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people

·       reduce interactions with people outside the workplace and home

·       reduce the number of people you meet every day

·       avoid communal sleeping areas

·       avoid crowded places

·       work from home if possible

Do not shake hands or make close contact, if possible.

To help slow the spread of coronavirus:

·       anyone who has symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days

·       everyone should limit unnecessary social contact as much as possible

·       at-risk groups should avoid close contact with people outside the home

You are more at risk of serious illness if you catch coronavirus and you:

·       are 60 years of age and over - people over 75 are particularly vulnerable

·       have a long-term medical condition - for example, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer or high blood pressure

·       have a weak immune system (immunosuppressed).