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COVID-19: what can we do to prevent infection?

In light of the current situation in Hong Kong, the Centre of Health Protection (CHP) has recommended the following guidelines in order to reduce the possibility of you and your loved ones from contacting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

1. Proper hand hygiene

washing hands cartoon

Why is it important? 

  • Respiratory virus like COVID-19 and influenza virus cannot cross intact skin
  • Touching the virus by itself does not cause disease unless we (unknowingly) transfer it to our mouth, face, or eyes (mucous membrane)

What can you do?

2. Respiratory hygiene

how to practice respiratory hygiene

  • Why is it important?
    • Respiratory viruses like influenza and COVID-19 typically spread by droplets, for example when someone coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth/nose
    • Good respiratory hygiene reduces the chance of family and community spread
  • What can you do? 
    • Practice good respiratory hygiene: cover your mouth/nose when you cough/sneeze if possible, dispose of the tissue in a bin with a lid, and perform hand hygiene afterwards
    • If tissues are not available, cough/sneeze into your upper arm/sleeve (avoiding your hands) and turn away from other people
    • You can find more information on the CDC's recommendation on hygiene etiquette when it comes coughing and sneezing.

3. Environmental Hygiene

4. Surgical Mask

icons of people wearing surgical masks

  • Why is it important?
    • Surgical-type masks cover the mouth/nose and protect against the spread of infection via large respiratory droplets when used correctly
    • If you develop a respiratory viral illness, wearing a surgical mask reduces the risk of transmission to your friends and family
  • What can you do?
    • Wear a surgical mask especially if you have respiratory symptoms, visit an environment with high risk of infection (eg clinic or hospital), or look after someone with respiratory symptoms
    • Beware of a false sense of security; practice good hand hygiene, follow proper procedures on wearing and disposing a surgical mask, minimise unnecessary mask adjustment and face touching
    • More information about the CHP's recommendation on the proper use of mask here, and how to wear a surgical mask properly.

5. Preventive vaccination (for flu and pneumococcal)

  • Why is it important?
    • Seasonal influenza (a virus infection) is a relatively common condition and responsible for more deaths worldwide than COVID-19
    • Pneumococcal disease (a bacterial infection) is a common cause of chest infection (pneumonia) worldwide and can also lead to meningitis and sepsis (blood infection).
  • What can you do?

6. Rest and de-stress

7. Physical Activities

icons of people doing various sports

  • Why is it important?
    • Moderate exercise can improve our immune system
    • Travellers returning from China are currently advised to stay home for 14 days, limiting outdoor activities and gymnasium visits
  • What can you do?
    • Exercise regularly, consider indoor exercises if you are spending less time outdoors
    • Rest if you have respiratory symptoms or fever. Go slow (shorter duration) and go low (lower intensity) as you improve and return to your usual exercise routines
    • You can find more information here: NHS's 10-minute workout recommendation

8. Food and Nutrition

  • Why is it important?
    • Adequate nutrients are important for many medical conditions and help boost our immune system, reducing our chance of getting a (viral or other) illness and infection-related complications
    • Some individuals can develop micronutrient deficiency for many reasons
  • What can you do?

To learn more about the summary sheet with the latest statistics and research about COVID-19, click here.

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Topics: COVID-19

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OT&P Healthcare

OT&P Healthcare is a Premium Private Healthcare Practice in Hong Kong. Our priority is to help individuals to enhance and optimise their health by providing easy access to a wide range of excellent practitioners and information, supported by management systems and technology that ensure quality of service and value. Our Mission is to provide pre-eminent private healthcare in Hong Kong. We aim to be the best in class fully integrated healthcare service, providing a circle of care for all our patients' needs.