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Editorial: The coronavirus and you

Editorial: The coronavirus and you

With five cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) being reported in BC, it’s important to remember the advice that has been recommended by our public health officials.  

“Remember that the most important thing you can do is wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. This basic action can help prevent getting not just the new coronavirus, but more common infections going around like the cold and flu,” says Bryce Wong, of the BC Pharmacy Association.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to symptoms of more common respiratory illnesses, such as fever, cough, sore throat, headache, difficulty breathing and pneumonia. While the risk to the general public continues to be declared as low in BC, here are some other tips to help you stay healthy: 

• Wash your hands frequently. Coronavirus is transmitted via larger liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact with these droplets. Because it can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough it’s recommended you cough or sneeze into your arm and wash your hands with soap and water regularly. Even if you were to somehow touch something, like a doorknob, that has droplets with coronavirus in it, washing your hands before touching your face or mouth will reduce the risk of that virus getting into your body. 

• Avoid contact with people who are ill and don’t visit others when you are ill. Help stop the spread of illness, if you are feeling unwell stay at home and where possible, avoid those who are unwell. Recently, our provincial health authorities are also asking people who have recently visited, or who have been in close contact with someone who has recently visited the Hubei province in China, to call public health officials and self-isolate for 14 days. 

• Consider wearing a face mask if you are sick. We’re seeing a lot of demand for face masks, but remember that while mask can help prevent transmission of illness from a sick person to others, their use is likely less effective in the community in preventing someone from getting sick. 

• If you are worried you have been exposed to the COVID-19, contact your primary care provider.  Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1. 

Submitted by the BC Pharmacy Association

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