Home DiseasesCovid-19 Covid-19: How can I protect myself?

Covid-19: How can I protect myself?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 217 views

The new corona virus has now spread worldwide. The number of cases in the individual countries is developing quite differently. In Germany they are currently on the decline. Nevertheless, the Robert Koch Institute still rates the risk to health as very high. Read here how to protect yourself and others from infection and what the status of drugs and vaccines against Sars-CoV-2 is!

How can I protect myself and others?

The tips for preventing infection are basically the same as those recommended for the flu (influenza) and other acute respiratory diseases. On the one hand, experts advise reducing social contacts if possible (e.g. only meet in small groups instead of with a lot of other people) and to stay at home if you have acute respiratory symptoms . On the other hand, you should definitely comply with the AHA + L rules :

A – keep your distance

Keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from other people in public spaces (bus, supermarket, park, etc.). Avoid shaking hands and hugs when greeting and saying goodbye to other people.

H – Observe hygiene rules

You should always cough and sneeze into a disposable handkerchief or the crook of your arm . Then dispose of the disposable handkerchief in the garbage.

In addition, you should not touch your face with your hands – especially your nose , mouth and eyes. If you have previously gotten viruses on your hands (e.g. by touching a doorknob or the handrail on a bus), you could transfer them to your mucous membranes. From there, the pathogens can enter the body.

Also very important – wash your hands regularly and thoroughly (for 20 to 30 seconds and then dry them carefully). This applies above all:

  • When you come home,
  • after coughing , sneezing and blowing your nose,
  • before preparing food and before eating,
  • after going to the toilet
  • before and after contact with sick people as well as
  • if possible before and after putting on the mask.

Water and soap are sufficient for washing . Disinfectants, on the other hand, do not offer any general hygienic benefit in private households, according to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). In addition, these products harbor health risks (e.g. allergies) and can promote the development of resistance in pathogens.

The targeted use of disinfectants in private households is advisable if a person suffering from Covid 19 is being cared for at home. Follow the doctor’s recommendations!

A – wear a mask in everyday life

In certain situations there is an increased risk of infection – for example, if the recommended minimum distance of 1.5 meters from other people cannot be maintained. Then wear a medical mouth and nose protection (surgical mask) or an FFP2 mask (or KN95 or N95 mask) – observe the regulations applicable at the respective location. It is also important that the mask fits well.

L – air regularly

In closed interior rooms, you should ventilate regularly – i.e. several times a day – for an average of 10 to 15 minutes each time (rule of thumb for intermittent ventilation). Cross ventilation (draft) works best with wide open windows. Then the air in the room is quickly replaced with fresh air.

How do I know if I’m infected?

The following symptoms can indicate an infection with SARS-CoV-2:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sniffles
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Sore throat
  • headache and body aches
  • shortness of breath
  • general weakness

Severe pneumonia with shortness of breath can occur later. Some patients also develop other symptoms, such as diarrhea.

What should I do if I fear I have been infected?

If you have had personal contact with someone who is infected with the novel corona virus, you should stay at home and contact the responsible health authority immediately – even if you have no symptoms of the disease. You can find out which health department this is in your case on the Robert Koch Institute website by simply entering your place of residence or your postcode ( https://tools.rki.de/plztool/ ). Also report to the health department if you use the Corona-Warn-App and receive a corresponding warning message.

If you are entering from a designated coronavirus risk area (see below), you are required to register for entry, be tested and quarantined. You can find more detailed information on this on the infection protection portal of the Federal Center for Health Education (” Entry from corona risk areas: the current regulations “). You can find an overview of the current risk areas here: Coronavirus: These are the risk areas .

If you develop respiratory problems such as a cough, you should get advice by phone – from your family doctor, a fever clinic or the medical on-call service (nationwide telephone number: 116 117). Describe your symptoms, ask for a test and follow the doctor’s instructions. Do not consult a doctor without prior telephone notification – you could endanger other people (e.g. in the waiting room)!

In emergencies (e.g. acute shortness of breath), you should call the emergency doctor immediately (Tel. 112)!

Why do many experts recommend flu vaccination because of the corona virus?

The seasonal flu vaccination, which is recommended for October or November each year, is important health protection per se – especially for older people and those with previous illnesses. Many experts also recommend flu vaccination in connection with the corona virus. Although it cannot protect against infection with the new type of corona virus, it is of particular importance in this context:

The fewer people get infected with the flu, the easier it is to relieve medical practices, clinics and intensive care units – for any seriously ill coronavirus patients.

In addition, an effective vaccination against influenza reduces the risk that someone may contract both infections or become particularly ill because their immune system is already so weakened by one infection.

In addition, the flu vaccination prevents someone who actually has the flu from being falsely quarantined on suspicion of Covid-19 – because the two diseases have similar symptoms. This would be an unnecessary burden for the person concerned and for the medical staff.

Is there a vaccination against Sars-CoV-2?

Yes, there are – four different vaccines against the novel coronavirus are currently approved in the European Union (EU). Here you can find out what they are, how they work and how safe the vaccinations are .

Are there any medications against Covid-19?

Many different approaches to a specific therapy against the novel coronavirus have been and are being investigated in studies – including substances that have a direct antiviral effect and agents that influence the immune response (immunomodulators):

On July 3, 2020, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) conditionally approved the active substance remdesivir, a direct antiviral, for use in patients with pneumonia at an early stage of the disease when supplemental oxygen is needed. In addition, approval procedures are currently underway for several monoclonal antibodies that also have direct antiviral activity.

Dexamethasone has received a positive evaluation from Ema as an immunomodulatory drug for use in Sars-CoV-2 infected people who require additional oxygen supply or artificial ventilation.

You may also like

Leave a Comment