The new virus (COVID-19) was first reported in the city of Wuhan, China in December 2019. While the source of the virus has not been clarified yet, it is estimated to have passed from wild animals which illegally sold at the Wuhan South China Seafood City Market to people.
Chinese healthcare professionals faced with cases of unknown pneumonia and reported that patients had respiratory complaints such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. In severe cases, pneumonia, severe respiratory failure, kidney failure and death may develop. Death cases are generally increased among the elderly and those with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart, lung and liver problems and cancer).
COVID 19 which spreads from China to whole World and becomes a pandemic has been defined as a new type of coronavirus in January 7, 2020
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause more serious illnesses from the common cold, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS-CoV).
How does it spread?
The virus is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets that people spread around when they sneeze, cough or breathe. The individuals around become infected by touching the droplets and carrying them to the mouth, nose or eye mucosa. The incubation period of COVID-19 varies between 2-10 days.
Coronaviruses are not very resistant to the external environment. There are different durations depending on the factors such as humidity and temperature of the environment and the texture of the surface it is contaminated. The infectious period and the duration of virus survival in the external environment is not clearly known.
Who is under risk?
80 % of cases have mild disease and recover. 20 of cases suffer from severe symptoms and hospitalized. The disease usually affects people aged 60 and over. Death has not been reported in children so far.
- People with the age of 60 and over
- People having serious chronical diseases
- Heart condition
- High blood pressure
- Respiratory disease
- Health professionals
What to do if you feel sick?
If you have fever, cough and shortness of breath, you should wear a mask and contact your nearest healthcare provider.
What happens at the hospital?
- While health professionals examining you, they ask questions about whether you have traveled abroad in the last 14 days or if you have contacted someone from abroad.
- In case of doubt, a respiratory sample is taken according to the COVID-19 Guidelines.
- The diagnostic test is performed only in the National Virology Reference Laboratory of the General Directorate of Public Health and the designated Public Health Laboratories.
Risk control measures to take
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. There is no need to use soap with antiseptic or antibacterial, normal soap is enough.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contacting with sick people. (If possible, try to stay away at least 1 meter)
- Hands should be washed frequently, especially after direct contact with sick people or their environment.
- Do not go to health care centers if it is not necessary. If you have to go try not to contact other people.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Avoid public areas or use a mask which covers your nose and mouth.
- Eating raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Well-cooked foods should be preferred.
- Avoid from high-risk areas such as farms and markets where animals can be slaughtered.
- If fever or respiratory symptoms appear within 14 days after you travel, wear a mask and contact the nearest health institution.