Its been all over the news today and we have been inundated with requests for masks, could the Coronavirus be the next pandemic, that the experts have predicted?
What are Coronaviruses?
They are a large and diverse family of viruses which includes the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Coronaviruses are common in many different species of animals, including camels and bats. Rarely, these coronaviruses can evolve and infect humans and then spread between humans.
A new a new coronavirus called novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, has been identified this month (January 2020), it is not yet know how this coronavirus is transmitted to people, but it’s looking like it comes from an animal.
It is suspected that a live animal market in Wuhan is the original source, but it hasn’t been confirmed.
It has been shown that 2019-nCoV can spread from person to person in the community and in health care settings, which is why we have had a large number of customers worried about this new virus strain.
There have been cases of 2019-nCoV reported in some other Chinese provinces and countries and some of these cases have no history of travel to Wuhan. Currently, there have been no cases here in New Zealand.
Signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus 2019-nCoV:
The symptoms of 2019-nCoV are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza (flu) and do not necessarily mean that you have 2019-nCoV.
Symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.
Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.
Advice on 2019-nCoV
Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections
Wash your hands frequently, carry and use hand sanitiser, especially after contact with an ill person .
Avoid contact with sick farm or wild animals.
If you are suffering from any acute respiratory infection practice good cough etiquette, maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes, use disposable tissues, wash hands and wear a face mask.
If you are a traveler or have recently traveled and become sick you should seek medical advice, it is important to mention where you have traveled.
There is no specific health measures for travellers at the present however the World Health Organisation is continuing to review the situation.
How can I protect myself and my family?
You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by:
avoiding being near people who are sick
avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
practicing good hygiene such as washing hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. or using hand sanitiser
keeping your home and office well ventilated by opening windows, indoor infection occurs from poor fresh air circulation
wearing a N95 face respirator when around unwell people
Face Masks and Respirators
There are many different types of face masks and respirators on the market, but not all will protect you against viruses.
We recommend the N95 respirator masks.
It must fit correctly, it must cover both the nose and mouth to keep you from breathing in particulates.
If it does not have a snug fit, it will not work properly, adjust the nose piece to ensure it fits correctly.
Correct fit of the mask requires contact with smooth skin.
It will not work properly for people with beards or facial hair.
Even one-day beard growth has been shown to let air leak in.
Always use both straps on the mask to hold it in place to keep air from leaking around it.
Change your respirator if it gets damaged or damp.
We currently have good supplies of the N95 respirator masks in store.