09
Thu, Apr

CORONAVIRUS: AN IDIOT’S GUIDE TO SELF-ISOLATION

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Already, health officials have indicated that identified contacts of an infected person will have to self-isolate.
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With six confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ghana, it is likely that there could be localised person to person transmission.

Already, health officials have indicated that identified contacts of an infected person will have to self-isolate. Though some have questioned the feasibility and practicability of this form of quarantine in our country, it is important that we have a good understanding of what this entails and how to prepare ourselves for the possibility.

Self-isolation requires staying at home, which involves:

* Not go out unless directed to do so (i.e. to seek medical care) if approved by public health officials in a designated health facility.

* Not go to school, work, or other public areas

* Not use public transportation (e.g. buses, aeroplanes, taxis, trotro)

* Redeploying any home staff (house helps, security) that has not been exposed.

The following will be important during the period.

Respiratory Etiquette:

* Covering coughs and sneezes by wearing approved face masks or using tissue. If tissues are used disposing of them in a manner that minimises risk of others coming into contact.

* If that is not possible cough or sneeze into the elbow area of the arm and not into your hand.

Hand Hygiene:

For between 15-20 seconds wash your hands under warm running water ideally with appropriate soap;

* Before and after preparing food;

* Before and after eating;

* After using the toilet;

* Before and after wearing face masks

* After disposing of waste or handling contaminated laundry;

* Every hour if none of these processes takes place.

Symptoms Monitoring:

Measure your temperature every couple of hours if you have a thermometer. The ideal body temperature is 36.5–37.5 °C. If your temperature goes above 37.5 °C seek health care using appropriate phone numbers. Do so also if you have shortness of breath. It important you don't allow symptoms to get worse before seeking medical help. You have much better outcome if medical intervention is early.

Precautions:

If you have any of the following existing conditions;

1. Cardiovascular Disease

2. Diabetes

3. Hypertension

4. Cancer

5. Chronic Respiratory Disease e.g. Asthma

You are at a higher risk of serious ill-health if COVID-19 is confirmed. Make sure whilst self-isolating you have enough supplies of your routine medication and take them as prescribed.

Finally, if you have pets, limit contact with them as you could potentially infect them if it turns out you are infected with COVID-19. This could turn them into carriers of the infection further complicating the task for health officials and our society.

SELF QUARANTINE SHOULD BE FOR A MINIMUM OF 14 DAYS.

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