The world got hit with an unexpected outbreak of Coronavirus in March 2020. While we have all adapted to it and vaccines have since been created, it is still important to get yourselves tested regularly, for your own safety and the others around you.
What is Coronavirus/Covid-19?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Most people infected with the Covid-19 virus are most likely to experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and are capable of recovering without needing special treatment. However, some may become very ill and require medical attention. For example, older people and those with underlying medical conditions like chronic respiratory disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes are much more likely to develop serious illness.
How does Covid-19 spread?
Covid-19 spreads mainly through the inhalation of small respiratory droplets from an infected person. These tiny droplets are produced by an infected person whether symptomatic or asymptomatic through sneezing, coughing or even talking. Those within proximity of less than 1 meter from an infected person are at high risk of inhaling the contaminated virus particles causing Covid-19 to be transmitted.
Another route of transmission includes coming into contact with contaminated surfaces (tables, chairs, floors). When a person touches an infected surface and then proceeds to touch their face, close to the mouth, nose or eyes, the risk of the virus entering the body will be significantly increased.
What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
The symptoms of Covid-19 may vary from person to person. However, these are the most common symptoms reported :
- Loss of sense and smell
Less common symptoms reported :
- Sore throat
- Body aches and pains
- Rash on skin, discolouration on fingers and toes
- Red, irritated eyes
Serious symptoms (Seek immediate medical attention if you show signs of these symptoms) :
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Loss of speech or mobility, of confusion
- Chest pain
Usually it takes 5-6 days from the day of infection for the symptoms to show. It may also take up to 14 days, depending on the individual infected.
How is Covid-19 being treated?
If your symptoms are mild, doctors will advise you to quarantine and monitor your symptoms at home. For those with more severe symptoms, optimal supportive care including oxygen and respiratory support such as ventilation will be provided.
Vaccines have been created to lower your risk of getting and spreading the virus. They also help to prevent serious illness and death.
How to reduce the spread of Covid-19?
- Stay up to date with the COVID-19 vaccines.
- Wash your hands often with plain soap and water (or santise when necessary)
- Cover your mouth and nose with a well-fitted mask when out in public.
- Avoid crowds and practice social distancing (stay at least 1 meter apart from others)
What do I do if I have been tested positive?
If you have been tested positive and are asymptomatic,
- Self-isolate at home for 72 hours (Report your positive test to your workplace and cancel all your social activities immediately)
- Take a self kit test after 72 hours, if negative, you may resume your daily activities. If positive, continue to self isolate and self test until your test results are negative.
The following individuals who test positive are strongly advised to visit a doctor even if they are not showing symptoms:
- Children aged 5 years old and below
- Vaccinated people aged 70 years and older
- Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people aged 50 years and above
- Those who are/have:
- on dialysis
- diagnosed with HIV or AIDS
- had organ transplant surgery
- been diagnosed with cancer before
- any disease or taking medications that weaken the immune system
- any disease affecting their heart, lungs, kidneys, liver or brain that required hospital admission in the last 6 months