1. What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. The new virus along with the resulting disease were unknown before the epidemic that began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
We should not panic – 80% of the sick people recover without medical care. Older people and those with other medical conditions are likely to develop more serious effects.
2. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptopms include:
• Dry cough
• Muscle aches
• Nasal congestion
• Stinging in the throat
3. How is it transmitted?
The main way the disease spreads is through sputum drops of saliva when someone coughs. These drops land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people can take COVID-19 by touching the surfaces or objects and then the eyes, nose or mouth.
The disease can also be transmitted by personal contact (a touch or handshake) or, quite rarely, by contamination with the feces of an infected person.
4. How do we protect ourselves from infection?
A. Wash your hands often
Washing and disinfecting hands are crucial actions to prevent infection. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If there is no soap and water, you can use a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Washing your hands removes the virus.
B. Avoid contact with people who are suspected of having acute respiratory infections
Keep a distance of at least 1 meter between you and other people, especially when they cough, sneeze or have a fever, as saliva drops can transmit the virus from a close distance.
C. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands
The virus is transmitted mainly through the respiratory tract, but can enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth, so avoid touching if you have not washed your hands well. The hands come in contact with surfaces contaminated with the virus, spreading it throughout the body.
D. Cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough
If you have an acute respiratory infection, avoid approaching other people, cough with your mouth covered or in a disposable napkin, wear a face mask and wash your hands. If you cover your mouth with your hands when you cough, you can contaminate the objects or people you come in contact with.
E. Stay at home if you don’t feel well
If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, inform the authorities and follow the given instructions. National and local authorities have the latest information on the situation in the area where you live. Calling before the presentation at the hospital will help the medical staff direct you to the most appropriate hospital to receive you. This will help and prevent contamination with other viruses or infections.
F. Do not take antiviral drugs or antibiotics unless prescribed by your doctor
There is currently no scientific research showing that the use of antiviral drugs can prevent infection with the new coronavirus (Covid-19). Antibiotics only work against bacteria, not against the virus.
Covid-19 is a virus, so antibiotics should not be taken as a method of prevention or treatment unless a bacterial infection is found.
G. Clean all surfaces with chlorine or alcohol based disinfectants
The chemical disinfectants that can kill the new coronavirus (Covid-19) are disinfectants that contain chlorine, bleach, solvents, 75% ethanol, paracetic acid and chloroform. Your doctor and pharmacist will know what to recommend.
H. Use a face mask only if you suspect you are ill or if you provide assistance to sick people
The World Health Organization recommends the use of a protective mask only if you suspect that you have been infected with the new coronavirus and have symptoms of coughing, sneezing, or if you are assisting a person who is suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus (a recent trip to China or quarantined areas of Europe with respiratory symptoms).
The use of the protective mask helps and limits the spread of the virus, but should be used in conjunction with other hygiene measures, including hand washing for at least 20 seconds. It is not necessary to use protective masks stacked on top of each other.
I. Made in China products or packages received from China are not dangerous
The World Health Organization has said that people receiving packages from China are not at risk of contamination with the new coronavirus because it does not live on the surface for long. To date, there is no evidence that products/objects produced in China can transmit the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
J. Call 112 if you have a fever, cough, or have returned from China or quarantined areas in Europe for at least 14 days.
The incubation period of the new coronavirus is between 1 and 14 days. If you have returned from a trip to China or quarantined areas in Europe for less than 14 days or have been in contact with persons who have returned from China or quarantined areas in Europe for less than 14 days, and you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches and fatigue, call 112 to get the information you need. Wear a face mask if you come in contact with other people, use disposable wipes and wash your hands thoroughly.
K. Pets do not transmit coronavirus
There is currently no evidence that pets, dogs and cats can be infected with the virus. In any case, we must always wash our hands with soap and water after coming into contact with pets.
5. Don’t believe the myths
Are hand dryers effective in neutralizing the new coronavirus?
Not. Hand dryers are not effective in killing COVID-19. To protect yourself from the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or soap and water.
Can an ultraviolet lamp kill the new coronavirus?
Not. UV lamps should not be used to disinfect hands or other areas of the skin, as UV radiation causes skin irritation.
If I wash my body with alcohol or chlorine, will I kill the new coronavirus?
Not. Washing with alcohol or chlorine all over the body will not kill viruses that have already reached the body. Washing with such substances can be harmful to clothing or mucous membranes (eg mouth, eyes). Keep in mind that both alcohol and chlorine can be effective in disinfecting surfaces, but they should be used as recommended.
6. Information and communication
Watch only the official news and reliable sources about COVID-19. Follow the guidance provided by both national and public health care providers, or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
We will keep you informed through this page about COVID-19 with updates, as events unfold.