True, the latest coronavirus – called COVID-19 – is more serious than the common flu. And, the amount of media coverage and attention around the disease can be worrying. So what can you do to stay calm, prepared and alert right now? Get a clear understanding of your risk level, practice some simple healthy habits and look to trusted sources for advice.
To start, here's a quick breakdown of how COVID-19 started, its symptoms and risk.
What is coronavirus?
According to the Government of Canada, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses. These viruses can cause various illnesses, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.
In December 2019, there were a number of reported cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The cause was later confirmed as a new coronavirus called COVID-19. Health officials have reported thousands of infections with COVID-19 in China. It wasn't long until other countries began reporting outbreaks as well.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Some cornaviruses spread between animals and some between animals and people. Others can spread from people to people. Symptoms include:
- runny nose
- sore throat
- fever and/or
- a general feeling of being unwell
How to protect yourself from coronavirus
With the COVID-19 situation changing everyday, you can stay calm, healthy and prepared with a few simple tips.1
1.Wash your hands regularly
Wash your hands every two to three hours, using proper hand-washing techniques. Use lots of soap and hot water, and be sure to rub vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds.
2. Clean your surroundings
Whether you’re at home or work, try to maintain a clean living space. Use disinfecting wipes on tables, kitchen surfaces, desks, telephones and anything else you frequently touch.
3. Keep away from common areas when you can
Avoid touching commonly shared surfaces such as washroom doorknobs, kitchen counters, or stair railings as much as possible.
4. Don't touch your face with unclean hands
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth whenever possible.
5. Practise self-care and eat healthy foods
Take care of yourself by getting lots of rest, staying hydrated, exercising regularly and making an effort to eat more fresh fruits and veggies. All of these activities boost your immune system and allow your body to better fight the germs that cause illness.
6.Open windows (if you can)
If your home or office and the weather allow it, open your windows to get some fresh air circulating.
7. See a doctor or qualified health professional.
Do you feel concerned about any cold and flu symptoms you're experiencing? Consult your doctor or a qualified health-care provider. The sooner you get treatment, the faster you'll recover.
8. Stay at home if you get sick
Ask your employer if they have any clear policies and procedures in place for global health events like COVID-19. Some employers may insist that you stay at home or work from home if you're feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. Other employers and companies recommend self-isolation for a certain amount of time if you:
- have recently travelled to a country with a coronavirus outbreak or
- have been in contact with someone who's travelled to a country with a coronavirus outbreak.
Consult your HR department for more info
9. Don't panic and get accurate information.
Hearing about the spread of coronavirus in the news can feel daunting. But try not to panic. Think of it in the same you would a bad weather situation. In case it happens, you want to be prepared and alert. This means looking to trusted sources for advice on what to do if an outbreak happens in your community.
In response to the epidemic, Sun Life Financial recently launched a series of new support measures，to provide greater support to customers.
For the latest information on coronavirus, please refer to World Health Organization
11Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public from the World Health Organization.