Coronavirus โ€“ what to know and where to get support? ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Coronavirus has been on everybody's lips in the past few days. Although we're not experts on the subject, we did our best to gather some useful information so you can better understand the situation.

Italy is now the country in the world with the 3rd highest number of patients affected by Coronavirus (Covid-19), after China and South Korea. The coronavirus it's quite similar to the flu and pneumonia (which in Italy kill around people per year) and the the majority of people infected are mild.

As of February 24, in Italy there are 229 known cases in Lombardia (172), Veneto (32), Emilia-Romagna (18), Piemonte (4) and Lazio (3). So far 23 cases were hospitalized in critical conditions and we've had 6 victims, most of which were affected by some pre-existing medical conditions and over the age of 70.

๐Ÿ‘‡ โ–ถ๏ธ Watch the video to learn more about the virus.

The most affected regions have adopted some preventive measures โ€“ such as closing schools, universities, museums, even bars, and canceling events and services at the church until March โ€“ to avoid the virus spreading further. You can find updates on the situation in your region here:

The Italian Ministry of Health decided to isolate some small towns in Lombardia (Codogno, Castiglione dโ€™Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo e San Fiorano) and Veneto, including Vo' Euganeo. It is forbidden to enter or leave outbreak areas. ย 

What can we do to protect ourselves?

The video below illustrates some basic measure from the WHO to protect ourselves and others form getting the Coronavirus. You can find more useful guidelines by clicking here.

Along with the WHO, also the Italian Ministry of Health shared some tips to limit the risk of contagion among the population in the country:

1) Wash your hands often ๐Ÿคฒ๐Ÿšฟwith soap and water OR alcohol based hand gel

2) Avoid getting close to anyone who is sick ๐Ÿ›‘๐Ÿค’

3) Donโ€™t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘ƒ๐Ÿ‘„

4) If you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose ๐Ÿคง

5) Donโ€™t take antiviral or antibiotic drugs unless prescribed by a doctor ๐Ÿ’Š๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš•๏ธ

6) Clean surfaces with disinfectants based on chlorine or alcohol

7) Use a mask ๐Ÿ˜ท only if you suspect that you are ill or if you look after someone who is ill ๐Ÿค’

8) Products made in China and parcels from China are not dangerous ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ“ฆ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

9) If you have fever or cough or have traveled in China within the last 14 days, call the tool-free number ๐Ÿ“ฒ 1500

10) Pets donโ€™t spread the new coronavirus ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿถ

Visit the NAGA's website for a Spanish, French, Chinese and Arabic version of the guidelines. Il Grande Colibrรฌ has produced some basic information in other languages too, including Urdu, Mandinka, and Wolof.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

This virus mainly causes respiratory symptoms. This can range from symptoms similar to a common cold โ€“ runny nose, cough, to fever, and shortness of breath. Some people can develop pneumonia and some people can develop severe difficulties with breathing, multi-organ failure and even death. Some people become infected but donโ€™t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. ย 

From studies that have been done so far on this new virus, we see that the vast majority of people infected (around 82%) have mild disease. 15% develop severe disease, and around 3% are critically unwell with the virus.

We have seen people of all ages infected โ€“ weโ€™ve seen newborns infected, children, adults, pregnant women and older people. Older people and those with pre-existing medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness, and are at a higher risk of dying.

About 2% of people with the disease have died. This means for every 100 cases, approximately 2 of them are at risk of dying. This is a new virus and as such, we are still learning what the exact case fatality rate is.

What should I do if I don't feel well?

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, or you've recently been to China, it's important you seek medical care early. However, this does not mean you should go right away to the doctor!

As the virus is highly contagious, the Italian authorities recommend you call one of the following toll-free numbers โ€“ in order to limit and prevent transmission of the virus to others:

โ˜Ž๏ธ 1500, for information on the coronavirus across Italy

โ˜Ž๏ธ ๏ธ112 or 118, for emergencies across Italy

โ˜Ž๏ธ 800894545, if you are in Lombardia

โ˜Ž๏ธ 800462340, if you are in Veneto

โ˜Ž๏ธ 800333444, if you are in Piedmont

โ˜Ž๏ธ 800 033 033, if you are in Emilia-Romagna

More regional toll-free numbers can be found ๐Ÿ‘‰ here ๐Ÿ‘ˆ

You can visit the Italian Ministry of Health website to get updates on the situation.

If you have any more questions about the virus have a look at the Q&A section on the WHO website.