Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that affect animals and humans. Some Coronaviruses can lead to upper respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose; however, some may cause more serious symptoms.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease that found its roots in Wuhan, China, and is now gradually spread across the world. Are older adults more vulnerable to the Covid-19 Coronavirus? It has reached more than 100 countries around the world. Fresh new data is emerging from China and Italy, the second-most-affected country in the world and reveals that Covid-19 is proving to be particularly dangerous for older people and others with co-morbid conditions such as heart, lung, and immunological conditions.
In Italy, the most hard-hit nation with the virus revealed in an analysis by the national health institute that among the 105 patients who died from the virus, the average age was 81. This finding along with statistics from China’s Center for Disease Control hence proved that the disease is deadlier for older people.
Top Public Precautions for the Older People
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had updated its traveler guidance as now there is enough proof that there is an increased risk of the person-to-person spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Be wary of the symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear from 2-14 days after exposure.
Older adults and those with other underlying health conditions must stay clear of crowded places and avoid unnecessary travel plans especially if you are embarking on cruise ships.
If you’re an older adult living within a community you must exercise extra vigilance and commonsense to reduce your risk of being exposed to the virus. Prevention is key, so you must protect yourself (and others) in public by following the below-mentioned health tips for elderly.
- Hand-wash frequently. Wash your hands frequently and take at least 20 seconds to diligently wash your hands, preferably with soap and tap water. If you do not have the access to soap then you can also use a sanitizer with 60% alcohol.
- Stay away from large gatherings. Try and stay away from mass gatherings and crowded settings, such as concerts, conferences, and parades, it can be a self-precautionary measure for older adults, but many organizations are now taking proactive measures that are canceling or postponing events. It is also important to stay away from workplaces and schools.
- Avoid people who are sick. Senior people need to move away from people who sneezing, coughing or is running a temperature and must stop themselves from exposing themselves to airborne droplets.
- Practice social distance. Even if you are going out maintain at least 3-to-6-foot distance from others, especially if you are near someone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Use a barrier on public surfaces. Be wary of catching the door handle or shopping cart which has been touched by several strangers. Before you touch a surface area using a clean tissue and then throw it away after using.
- Practice crowd etiquette. Cover your mouth whenever you cough or sneeze and if you need to wipe use a tissue or your inner elbow, never your hand. If you’re sick, practice self-quarantine and if you move out, wear a mask.
- Avoid touching your face. Your hands may be in touch with several odd surfaces which may bear thousands of germs every day. Be particularly careful about the “T-zone” of your face – your mouth, eyes, and nose, these are mucus membranes where viruses can thrive.
- Avoid air travel. The elderly need to avoid confined areas and hence you must avoid air travel.
- Travel ‘armed.’ Yes, when you travel, you must have the ammunition ready such as alcohol wipes, to disinfect places, such as your seats, handles, armrests. Avoid mingling with other people when you are waiting at the airport lounge.
- Stock up on supplies and medications. If you are self-quarantining yourself ensure you have the right things at your disposal, such as household items, groceries such as non-perishable food and medical supplies, especially if you have to stay at home for a prolonged period. You can ask your health care provider to provide extra prescription medications to last you for some time.
- Wear a mask if you are sick. Wearing a mask can protect others rather than protecting you, especially when you cough or sneeze. However, masks are not recommended for healthy people, as an ill-fitting mask can prove to be counterproductive as the virus may get inside the gaps of the masks, also you may keep touching your face to adjust the mask, defeating the very purpose.
If you believe that you are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the Coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor to get tested as soon as possible.