What you need to know about COVID-19

Posted on April 24, 2020 | 2 minute read

Within a few weeks, many things have changed around us because of COVID-19. Most cities are now living under lockdown and restricted movements, some are working from home, and people are staying away from each other when going out. With numerous active cases all over the world, now is the time to spread the word on how to prevent being infected or infecting others. It is important to keep yourself informed, prepared, and updated, and to follow guidelines to reduce your risk of infection.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the new infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Coronavirus, on the other hand, is a large family of viruses that causes the common cold, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) among others. The COVID-19 outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and has now spread to almost all countries.

When a person with COVID-19 sneezes or coughs, small droplets from their nose or mouth are dispersed into the air and may be inhaled by people nearby. They may also land in the mouths or noses of people who are too close, or they can settle on surfaces which may be touched by other people. Although studies are still being conducted to prove this transmission, it’s best to maintain social distancing and to wash hands regularly for minimized risk.

Symptoms of COVID-19

COVID-19 cases vary around the world, but common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • muscle pain
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • chills
  • loss of taste or smell
  • headache
  • sore throat

In some cases, people with COVID-19 may also experience diarrhea and nasal congestion.

What to do if you are infected

If you observe mild symptoms, here are the recommended steps to follow:

  • Stay at home and self-isolate first 
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Eat nutritious food to stay healthy
  • If possible, stay and eat (or be fed) in a separate room
  • Wear a mask if you need to interact with the people around you
  • Seek advice from your local medical provider for the best steps to take depending on your situation 

However, if you experience difficulty breathing, fever, and cough, contact your doctor or your local health provider immediately. You may also contact the Philippines Department of Health by dialing their hotline at 02-894-COVID or 02-894-26843 .

How to Prevent COVID-19

While clinical trials are still being conducted to find a vaccine against COVID-19, here are some tips from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce your risk of getting infected:

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly using soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose the used tissue properly.
  • Practice social distancing (at least 3 feet) if you need to go out as some people with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic (no symptoms)
  • Stay away from crowds or large groups of people

If you have a family member infected with COVID-19, here are ways to help prevent the spread of the virus:

  • Disinfect surfaces and other frequently touched objects with soap and water
  • Use gloves when handling their used dishes, glasses, and cups
  • Use a separate trash can for the sick family member. Use gloves when disposing the garbage bags and wash your hands after

Common COVID-19 Myths

Research and clinical trials are being conducted to help find a vaccine against COVID-19 but no drug or antiviral medicine has been proven to cure it. The