What is the coronavirus, which we have heard a lot about in recent days, which started in China and spread to America and Europe, and recently the first death case was reported outside China, how dangerous is it, how scared should we be, how panicked should we be and how can we be protected?
Actually, this is not the first time we have heard of Corona. The outbreak in July 2003 was much more mortal. In China and Canada, there were 8096 cases and 774 deaths (mortality rate 9.6%).
The mortality rate of SARS Corona virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in the current pandemic is much lower. The mortality rate is higher in immunocompromised people with comorbidities and especially in pregnant women. (75%) The disease characterized by fever, cough and shortness of breath is actually no different from the flu-like picture. There is no cure for the disease, which is diagnosed with a special laboratory test. So how can we protect ourselves from this incurable disease?
First of all, it is frightening to hear that there is no cure, which is a defense mechanism for our body and keeps us constantly awake, but we should not panic. Simple precautions for this disease, for which there is no vaccine yet, can be very lifesaving.
World Health Organization,
– Avoid close contact with infected persons (1 meter)
– Wash your hands frequently, especially after contact with sick people and their surroundings.
– Wear a surgical mask to protect and prevent the spread of the disease.
– Do not approach farm and wild animals unprotected.
– Frequently disinfect the living space of infected individuals.
The most effective, simplest and cheapest method of protection is frequent hand washing. Although it may not sound like an important method of protection, we can give you a few figures:
Various studies have shown that 20-40% of nosocomial infections are transmitted by hands.
In 1846, Ignaz Semmelweis observed in a hospital in Vienna that deaths due to puerperal sepsis (infection that occurs within 21 days after the baby is born) were higher in the clinic where medical students and doctors delivered babies than in the clinic where midwives delivered babies, and he hypothesized that contaminated hands caused puerperal sepsis because doctors left the autopsy room and entered the delivery clinic. By requiring hand washing after autopsy and before delivery, he reduced the mortality rate from 22% to 3%; by insisting on hand cleansing with chlorine solution, he succeeded in preventing maternal mortality altogether.
The number of these examples can be extended, but we see that handwashing is the most important way to protect and prevent the spread of all kinds of (in-hospital and out-of-hospital) infections.
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