Health and Hygiene: The Coronavirus

The coronavirus – known as Covid-19 – has highlighted just how important good hygiene is in preventing the spread of disease and bacteria. This module will not only show you why hand washing is so important, but also show you how the right way to wash your hands.

References taken from the following sources:

https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/good_hygiene.html
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-prevent-infections
https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html

 

CORONA VIRUS(COVID-19) 24-HOUR HOTLINE NUMBER: 0800 029 999

CORONA VIRUS(COVID-19) WhatsApp number: 0600 12 3456
    Step 1: Save the number To your contacts on your cellphone.
    Step 2: In send the word “Hi” to Covid-19 Connect and start chatting.

Remember, any guidance given here on how to manage Covid-19 (including at home and in the workplace) will be superseded by government advice and guidance. Information provided by http://www.health.gov.za/

What is the Coronavirus?

 

The coronavirus isn’t just one virus but a family of different viruses that cause symptoms similar to the common cold. The specific type of Coronavirus taking the world by storm at the minute (as of April 2020) is called Covid-19 and it’s a new strain that was not previously identified in humans.

One of the most powerful weapons we have of preventing the spread of this disease is to wash our hands. This is because the virus is spread by contact with droplets (of saliva or mucus) shed by someone else who is infected with the virus and most often, these droplets are spread with our hands.

Remember, you don’t need to have symptoms of the virus in order to be able to spread it – you can have it without ever knowing it!

 

What are the common signs of infection?

 

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. (WHO – World Health Organisation). http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/outbreaks/145-corona-virus-outbreak/465-corona-virus-outbreak

Other Ways of Slowing the Rate of a Viral Infection:

  1. Getting the right vaccines
  2. Washing your hands regularly
  3. Staying home if you are unwell
  4. Using a tissue to cough or sneeze into and throwing that tissue away immediately (or sneezing into your elbow rather than your hands). Make sure you wash your hands after coughing or sneezing
  5. Not sharing cutlery or cups
  6. Not touching your eyes, nose or mouth

How to Help Prevent the Spread of Infection in a Workplace:

Every workplace should have an infection control plan and this plan should include;

  1. Providing hand washing facilities
  2. In the event hand washing facilities aren’t available, hand sanitizers should be freely available
  3. Providing boxes of tissues
  4. Removing reading materials from communal areas
  5. Having each person clean their workstation before and after use
  6. Ensure ventilation systems are working properly
  7. Ensure all cups, glasses, cutler and other dishes are properly washed between each use

What is Social Distancing and Why Is It Important?

 

Social distancing is one of the ways we are trying to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus and it involves keeping a distance of 3 to 6 feet between yourself and another person any time you are outside of your home. This is because viruses are spread much more quickly when people are closer together.

If you are social distancing, it’s important to follow these steps whenever you can;

  1. Replace face-to-face meetings with telephone and video conferences. Use the internet to conduct your business as much as possible (even if you are all in the same building).
  2. If your employees can work from home, allow them to do so. If they can’t work from home, allow for flexible work hours to avoid crowding within the workplace.
  3. Postpone or cancel any travel, workshops or meetings that are not absolutely necessary.
  4. Avoid public transportation as much as possible – walk, cycle or drive to work if you can.
  5. If your staff must come into work and they need to use public transportation, allow them to work flexible hours so that they can use public transport at hours when it is less crowded.
  6. Allow your staff to have their lunch at their desks and staffer lunch hours to avoid crowded break areas.
  7. Spend as few hours as possible in communal areas, including photocopy centres and tearooms.
  8. Avoid shaking hands or hugging.

What Happens if an Employee Becomes Ill at Work?

 

If an employee is unwell, their place of work should have procedures in place to determine what steps they should take. Generally, any employee who is showing signs of illness should be allowed to stay home.

In light of the current pandemic (the Covid-19 outbreak), any employee showing signs of the virus should remain at home.

How to Wash Your Hands

Try not to touch your face for an hour and see how difficult it is. Humans touch their face hundreds of times a day without even realizing it and with each touch, they spread germs to their mouth, nose and eyes. Usually, our bodies are able to fight these germs off fairly easily, but sometimes, it isn’t – especially when it’s a new virus that our bodies haven’t come into contact with before. Because of this, it’s important that we keep our hands clean.

If you think hand washing is simply about throwing some soap on your hands and running them under water for a few seconds, think again. Hand washing is only effective in stopping the spread of disease if it’s done properly.

How to Wash Your Hands

Try not to touch your face for an hour and see how difficult it is. Humans touch their face hundreds of times a day without even realizing it and with each touch, they spread germs to their mouth, nose and eyes. Usually, our bodies are able to fight these germs off fairly easily, but sometimes, it isn’t – especially when it’s a new virus that our bodies haven’t come into contact with before. Because of this, it’s important that we keep our hands clean.

If you think hand washing is simply about throwing some soap on your hands and running them under water for a few seconds, think again. Hand washing is only effective in stopping the spread of disease if it’s done properly.

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