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Information and recommendations in the face of the COVID19 epidemic

Posted by LIZ DAVENPORT

Given the epidemic caused by the COVID-19 virus and the current situation of progressive incorporation into activities that we have not done for a long time (walking, playing sports, going out with children, taking public transport …) from the Red Cross we want to remind you of the importance each and every one of us has to contain the infection and prevent the appearance of new cases.

Preventing the transmission of the virus, in addition to being a responsibility of society and its leaders, is also an individual responsibility. Stopping COVID-19 depends on everyone, IT DEPENDS ON YOU! #SitecuidasMecuidas

Let us be aware of our personal role in the control of the disease, let us avoid that our attitudes and behaviors put the health of the people around us and our own at risk.

It is essential to resume activities little by little, always following the guidelines authorized in each territorial area, and strictly maintain the general recommendations to prevent the transmission of the virus: hand hygiene, use of a mask where required and maintain a safe distance . Remember that we are still in a situation of alarm due to the risk of COVID-19.

It is important to highlight the current mandatory use of masks:

Its use is MANDATORY:

• In public transport

• On public roads, in outdoor spaces, closed spaces for public use or open to the public, whenever it is not possible to maintain a safety distance

WHO should use it?

The general healthy population, from 6 years of age, except:

• Shortness of breath

• Contraindication

• Activities with which it is incompatible

• Cause of force majeure or situation of need

Make a CORRECT USE to avoid generating more risk:

    Wash your hands before putting it on.

    The mask should cover the mouth, nose and chin at all times. It is important that it fits your face.

    Avoid touching the mask while wearing it.

    For reasons of comfort and hygiene, it is recommended not to use the mask for a time greater than 4 hours. In the event that it becomes damp or deteriorates due to use, it is recommended to replace it with another.

    Do not reuse masks unless they are stated to be reusable.

    To remove the mask, remove it from the back, without touching the front, dispose of it in a closed bucket and wash your hands.

    Reusable masks should be washed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    PROPER USE OF MASKS INCLUDES THROWING THEM IN THE PROPER CONTAINERS, AND NEVER ON THE FLOOR

Spanish Red Cross, thanks to its volunteer work and all the staff, continues to develop the actions of its “RESPONSE” Plan against COVID-19 in all its aspects and lending its support to the health authorities in the tasks that they request from us with the available resources .

During all this time, the Red Cross has also continued to maintain its activity in the rest of the projects aimed at people in situations of greater vulnerability, adapting to the social and health situation experienced to give the most appropriate response in the present circumstances, especially ensuring that take care of the safety and health of the volunteer and labor personnel that makes it possible to carry it out.

The information provided by the Organization through all its channels is reviewed daily by professionals who are experts in the different subjects, always relying on reputable sources for updating. The same is done with all action procedures, paying special attention to those that involve security and protection measures to prevent the transmission of infection at all levels.

To make the most relevant and interesting information for the population related to COVID-19 arrive in an easy and accessible way, a specific section of “RESOURCES CRE COVID-19” has been created on the official website of the Spanish Red Cross, through which you can access multiple content to facilitate coping with the special situation in which we find ourselves.

Since the end of April, the Red Cross, also concerned about people’s mental health, has made a new free psychological support telephone service available to all citizens: “RED CROSS YOU LISTEN TO YOU” (900 107 917), attended from Monday to Monday. Friday by expert professionals in the morning and afternoon hours.

We continue to insist on the importance of consulting only reliable and verified sources of information, cAs the official websites of accredited bodies and organizations and ignore those of which we do not know their origin and reliability.

Below, we answer the most frequent questions that we continue to ask ourselves in relation to the COVID-19 virus during these weeks.

What is the new coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses that can cause infection in humans and a variety of animals, including birds and mammals such as camels, cats, and bats. It is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can sometimes be transmitted from animals to people.

The new coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 is a new type of coronavirus that affects humans and is transmitted person-to-person. There are still many questions that are not known in relation to the virus and the disease it produces. As knowledge progresses, the recommendations and information are updated. 

What is the survival of the SARS COVID-19 virus?

The survival of the virus is due to multiple factors that are difficult to control in our day to day life. 

For this reason, the best way to avoid its transmission is to follow the general prevention recommendations for the spread of respiratory infections and maintain good ventilation and cleanliness of our home to remove it from objects and surfaces that may have been contaminated. 

How is the new coronavirus transmitted?

It is transmitted by direct contact with respiratory droplets that are emitted with the cough or sneeze of a sick person. Its contagiousness depends on the amount of virus in the respiratory tract. The drops infect another person directly through the nose, eyes, or mouth. It can also be transmitted by touching the nose, eyes or mouth with hands contaminated by the virus after touching surfaces on which droplets of saliva from people with the virus have fallen. Airborne transmission at distances greater than 2 meters seems unlikely.

Current evidence on the COVID-19 disease shows that there is transmission of the infection from asymptomatic cases or cases in the presymptomatic phase.

What are the most vulnerable groups?

The main vulnerable groups are those over 60 years of age, and those diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases, cancer, immunodeficiencies, and pregnant women due to the precautionary principle.

People who live or work in closed institutions are also considered more vulnerable, with special attention to older people who live in residences. Other people, such as those who smoke or are obese, also appear to be at higher risk for serious illness.

What is the situation in Spain?

Currently, transmission in the country has decreased. The health authorities carry out a continuous surveillance of the epidemiological situation to establish the necessary control measures at an early stage adapted to the situation.

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

The most common symptoms include fever, cough, and feeling short of breath. In some cases there may also be a decrease in smell and taste, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, general weakness, diarrhea or vomiting.

Most of the cases are mild. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe shortness of breath, kidney failure, and even death. The most serious cases usually occur in people who are elderly or have a chronic disease, such as heart disease, lung disease, or immunodeficiencies.

Is there a treatment for COVID-19?

There is no specific treatment, but in the indicated cases some antivirals and other medications are being used that have shown some efficacy according to some studies. Yes, there are many therapeutic options to control your symptoms, so health care improves the prognosis.

Being an infection caused by viruses, antibiotics should NOT be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However, COVID-19 patients may be given medically prescribed antibiotics because they could have co-infections caused by bacteria.

What control measures are being taken?

Since March 14, a state of alarm has been declared a throughout the Spanish territory, so measures are being taken to deal with this serious and exceptional situation, with the aim of protecting the health of citizens, containing the progression of the disease and strengthening the public health system. Consult official sources to keep up to date with the situation and the different measures in each territory.

The individual role of each of the people who make up society is key and fundamental in order to be able to make a safe transition and reach the situation of a new normal within the expected deadlines without new epidemic outbreaks with an increase in cases.

Each person must be very aware of their individual responsibility in controlling the epidemic, and of the importance of following the guidelines and recommendations indicated by the health authorities at all times.

What can I do to protect myself and others?

  • Generic individual protection measures against respiratory diseases include:
  •     Perform frequent hand hygiene (washing with soap and water or alcoholic solutions)
  •     When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow.
  •     Use disposable tissues, throw them away after use and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
  •     Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, as hands facilitate transmission.
  •     Maintain a physical safety distance of 2 meters from other people.
  •     Be careful with the surfaces that are most touched and clean them regularly.

    Use a mask:

        o Its use is mandatory in public transport and when it is not possible to maintain a safe distance on public roads, in outdoor spaces, closed spaces for public use or open to the public.

        o It is mandatory for all people from 6 years of age, except for the exceptions: respiratory difficulty that may be aggravated by the use of a mask, health reasons that contraindicate its use duly justified, people with disabilities or a situation of dependency that present alterations of conduct that make its use unfeasible, or in activities in which the use of the mask is incompatible or due to force majeure or a situation of need.

    If symptoms occur, the person should isolate himself in a room and follow the recommendations in the section of this document on What should I do if I have symptoms?

More information about each recommendation can be found at the following link:

There are no special precautions with food in Spain to avoid this infection.

To date, there is no scientific evidence that pets play an important role in the transmission of the disease to humans.

As recommended by the World Organization for Animal Health, if a person is affected by COVID-19 they should, as a precautionary measure, reduce contact with pets and other animals through the application of general hygiene measures, such as It should be done in the presence of any other infectious disease in people or animals.

What should I keep in mind when buying a mask?

In general:

  •     healthy people will wear hygienic masks
  •     people with symptoms or asymptomatic with COVID + test will wear surgical masks
  •     People who are in close contact with sick people (caregivers, healthcare workers …) will preferably use PPE masks

Children under 3 years old should not wear masks. For boys and girls older than this age (3-12 years), there are 3 sizes with different sizes. When they must use a mask, its placement must be supervised by an adult to verify that it has been done correctly.

If you wish to consult more detailed information, the Ministry of Health has prepared a document with a very complete infographic, where all the doubts that may arise in relation to the use of masks are clarified 

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