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What is COVID-19, and how can you protect yourself?

This post is also available in: Spanish

In order to help protect ourselves and those we love we first need to know what we are going against. We need to stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the World Health Organization (WHO) website and through your national and local public health authority, which in the DR is the Public Health Ministry (Ministerio de Salud Pública) .

As per WHO, ” Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in December 2019.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. ”

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. This is why it is important to take measures to prevent this virus from spreading. 

Update Monday, March 23rd: WHO launched on Saturday a messaging service with partners WhatsApp and Facebook to keep people safe from coronavirus. This easy-to-use messaging service has the potential to reach 2 billion people and enables WHO to get information directly into the hands of the people that need it. The phone number is +41 22 501 76 55, just text “hi” to activate the conversation, prompting a menu of options that can help answer their questions about COVID-19. 

Find below what we can do:

Information from World Health Organization (WHO) website

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