A virus is an infectious disease that can be spread through a number of ways including contact with the virus through other people.
Viruses often cause outbreaks where a large number of people in the same place contract the disease around the same time.
This can range from small outbreaks for example within a school, to worldwide pandemics, where hundreds of thousands of people are all affected by the disease.
Recent Pandemic: The Coronavirus
The coronavirus is a new virus that affects respiratory function. The outbreak started in China but has spread worldwide causing a pandemic. Find out more from the World Health Organisation here.
The Coronavirus and the particular strand of the virus called COVID-19 have the following symptoms:
- A high temperature or fever
- A continuous cough
As a result of this pandemic, people who have any symptoms or believe they have the virus are asked to stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days.
This means keeping away from anyone in the high-risk categories such as over 70s, children, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions.
People are also asked to call the NHS 11 service and not enter hospitals, pharmacies or doctors surgeries.
Because of the seriousness of this ongoing disease, we recommend you do the following to ensure you keep healthy at this time:
- Wash your hands with soap and water as regularly as possible for at least 20seconds
- Wash your hands whenever you come home or leave work or come into contact with a new surface.
- Carry a hand sanitiser with you if you cannot access a tap and soap.
Hand sanitiser has a number of benefits because not only will it help kill the Coronavirus on the surface of the hand, but other viruses and diseases such as MRSA, Influenza, E-coli and Salmonella.
Hunter Medical is one group that offers a bulk buy option for their coronavirus hand sanitiser so you don’t have to worry about running out.
- If you have to sneeze or cough, make sure you catch it in a tissue, dispose of the tissue and wash your hand straight away.
- Avoid mass gatherings
- Try to stay isolated as much as possible, if you can work from home, do so.
- Avoid using public transport and travelling out of the country unless it is necessary
Why is important to follow these precautions?
There are many problems caused by pandemics but the most important thing is to protect yourself and the people around you.
If you have to self-isolate due to the effects of the virus, you should make sure that you are looking after your mental health.
Staying isolated in one place without much interaction with other people can have a negative effect on your mental health.
Read our tips on looking after your mental health.
While the coronavirus and similar disease can seem like a common cold or the flu, which seems to only affect the elderly, the virus can have serious and sometimes fatal effects on anyone.
This is especially true for those that have underlying health conditions, specifically to do with the airways and specific organs.
Find out if you are at risk here.
At the end of the day, we should always be making sure we are taking good care of our health.
Take a look at these useful links on more way to look after the different aspects of your health.
Oral Health Advice
Dealing With Anxiety Around Health