Recently, local news outlets reported that cases of coronavirus (also known as Covid-19) have been confirmed in Valencia.
As there is a lot of misinformation being shared online, we have decided to publish the following safety guide and information sheet about the virus.
What is the coronavirus?
Covid-19 is a virus from the same family as the common cold. Coronaviruses get their name from the crown shapes found on the virus itself.
How does it spread?
You may have heard that Covid-19 is not airborne, and so it only spreads through touching infected surfaces, such as door handles. However, this is a little misleading. An airborne virus means a virus that is present in the air and can be inhaled. The Covid-19 virus can be transmitted through sneezing or coughing, as it may be present in the liquid droplets, so whilst it isn’t airborne in that it isn’t floating around in the air, it can still be acquired without touching an infected patient.
Is it worse than the flu?
As far as we know, the mortality rate of Covid-19 is somewhere between 1-2%, which makes it more deadly than seasonal flu. However, the mortality rate could either go up or down as more data comes in through the medical community.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms initially involve a fever, followed by a dry cough and, after a week, shortness of breath. There may also be a headache and muscle pain. Symptoms may not appear for weeks after exposure.
Below we have collected some tips to stay safe in the event of the virus spreading around the Valencia region.
|1. Wash your hands frequently with soap, hand-wash or warm water, particularly after touching public surfaces such as door handles and buttons on buses or ATMs.|
|2. Cover your mouth when sneezing with your elbow or a tissue. Sneezing or coughing into your hand means the next surface you touch will be covered in germs!|
|3. Stay hydrated if you have a fever and take it easy. Try to avoid close contact with others and if you suspect it could be coronavirus, call the Valencian Coronavirus hotline on +34 900 300 555 or the Spanish emergency number, 112|
|4. Consider using a face mask if you’re already ill but be aware that masks may not protect you from contracting the virus. Research over the effectiveness of face masks is patchy and official guidelines suggest that washing hands and avoiding large crowds is a more reliable method of prevention than wearing a face mask.
If you do wish to purchase a mask, they can be found in pharmacies and some Chinese shops.
|5. Avoid large gatherings if you’re in a high risk group or if you live with someone who is. High risk groups include those with existing health problems, such as chronic lung or heart disease and immuno-deficiency diseases.|