With new cases of the Coronavirus being detected daily, there is growing consensus among the world’s leading infectious disease experts, that the pathogen is readily transmitted between people, like influenza. In the last three weeks, the number of diagnosed cases has gone from 50 in one country to more than 14,000 in 23 countries and counting.
While researchers work furiously on drug treatments and vaccines, the World Health Organisation says hand hygiene is the most effective first line of defence. Workplaces should encourage regular hand washing or make hand sanitiser available when there is no water present. With an incubation period of up to two weeks, covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing can help prevent the spread.
Here’s what the World Health Organisation recommends to reduce your risk of Coronavirus infection.
1. Hand hygiene
Frequent hand washing is recommended especially after coughing and sneezing. Hands should be cleaned with an alcohol-based soap, rinsed with lukewarm water and dried thoroughly. Alcohol-based rubs are also a convenient solution which offer up to a 99.5% effective clean.
2. Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or a flexed elbow when coughing and sneezing and be sure to discard the tissue immediately after use.
3. Avoid close contact
If people are unwell in the workplace, send them home. Keep your distance from anyone showing cold or flu-like symptoms and avoid close contact with others if you begin to experience symptoms yourself. Masks, especially P2 masks, if worn and fitted correctly can also help reduce the spread of infection, but experts say it’s more important to wash your hands.
4. Food safety and hygiene
At home, implement safe food practices and exercise care when handling meats through measures such as using different knives and boards for raw and cooked animal products to avoid cross-contamination. Be mindful of food sourcing and avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products, whether that be in Australia or overseas.
5. Travel with care
It is recommended that those travelling to countries experiencing cases of Coronavirus do not visit live markets and avoid unprotected contact with wild and farm animals. Check latest travel ban advice before organising work trips.
If you or anyone in your workplace begins to develop symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or a fever, seek medical attention.
For everything your workplace needs to work safely, shop our range or ask to speak to a Winc Health, Hygiene and Safety Specialist.