Coronavirus Advice for the Elderly
Disclaimer: I am a not a medical doctor. Always seek advice from a registered medical professional.
- What is COVID-19?
- How Does Coronavirus COVID-19 Spread?
- Incubation Period
- Advice About Corona Virus for The Elderly
- How to Identify That A Person Is Suffering From Coronavirus Covid-19
- Treatments for Coronavirus
- Antibiotics and Vaccines
- Treatment for Coronavirus
- How Serious Is Coronavirus for Elderly People?
- Precautionary Measures Seniors Must Take For Covid-19
- Final Verdict
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been hard to miss in the news recently, as you may be aware it is the elderly who stand to suffer the most from it.
Covid-19 came to our attention in December 2019 when an outbreak was diagnosed in the Wuhan area of China. It has since spread to all continents and most countries, causing a significant healthcare challenge for the whole world.
Although Coronavirus is the leading news story, it is essential not to panic. Instead, it is important to read information from trusted sources like the WHO (World Health Organization). As an individual, you should follow the essential tips they give to protect yourself and the people around you.
What is COVID-19?
Covid-19 is the official name given to the disease, which is caused by the virus CoV-2, which is also known as Novel Coronavirus. It has been observed that this is a new strain that has come from the family of Coronavirus.
Coronaviruses of different strains have come and gone, so you may see old advice relating to Coronavirus that is not specific to this outbreak of Covid-19. COVID-19 has not previously been diagnosed in humans.
How Does Coronavirus COVID-19 Spread?
It has been observed that Coronavirus spreads through droplets that are released when people cough or sneeze. The distance where these droplets can spread is up to 1 or 2 meters.
Elderly people need to understand that they are at higher risk of getting infected by this virus; it may occur with the seasonal flu or with the chronic health conditions if the illness gets spread.
The main symptoms observed in the novel coronavirus are a dry cough and fever. It’s possible that people with mild symptoms are not being diagnosed as they don’t seek medical help. Therefore, it’s possible that Coronavirus may also give milder cold-like symptoms.
From catching the virus until the symptoms start to appear, this period is known as the incubation period. The estimated incubation period has seen ranges between 1 to 14 days of the infected virus.
You may have seen that people who have traveled to affected areas are being put in quarantine for two weeks. This is because of the length of the incubation period before which symptoms start to show.
Advice About Corona Virus for The Elderly
The U.S center for disease control has advised people to stay calm and follow the simple recommendations to help avoid contracting the virus. If you suffer from any of the symptoms and are over the age of sixty, then it is highly recommended you contact your local health authority.
The common-sense tips that are advised for seniors are:
Wash Your Hands
You need to wash hands regularly with soap and hot water for 20 seconds; this exercise must be practiced after finishing in the bathroom, before starting to eat anything, even after blowing your nose or sneezing and coughing. You should also wash your hands when returning from any public space, such as a supermarket or public transport.
Do not touch your face. If you have to scratch an itch or rub your eyes, then first wash your hands. Be especially careful not to touch your face when you are in public, where you are much more likely to have come into contact with the virus.
Practice Good Hygiene
You need to cover your cough or sneeze with tissue paper and throw it after using it so as not to risk spreading the virus to other people. Remember, you may have the virus for up to two weeks before symptoms appear.
If you don’t have a tissue to hand, then cough into your arm so as not to spread the virus onto your hands from where it is easier to spread it further.
Rest and Hydrate
It is not yet known what makes the Coronavirus spread so quickly. But as you are much more likely to contract a cold or flu when you are run-down, it makes sense to look after yourself to keep your immune system in tip-top condition. Rest as much as you can and stay well hydrated with water and caffeine-free drinks.
Keep in mind that we are still in a season due to the weather that people suffer greatly from seasonal flu, which often which has a significant impact on elderly and vulnerable people each year.
How to Identify That A Person Is Suffering From Coronavirus Covid-19
There is no way to tell if someone is suffering from Covid-19 other than by taking a lab test administered by a medical professional. If you suspect you or someone you know has contracted the virus, you should contact your local medical authority. Do not take the person to a public hospital or medical center unless told to as you risk spreading the virus further.
Treatments for Coronavirus
There are currently no known cures or preventions for Covid-19. If someone tells you to eat elderberries or turmeric tea on any other supposed remedy, do not listen!
Antibiotics and Vaccines
COVID-19 occurs due to virus, so antibiotics will not help in any way to treat Coronavirus!
There is no vaccine for this strain of Coronavirus. A vaccine will be developed, but this takes time. It is currently thought it will be at least twelve months before a vaccine is created, let alone mass-manufactured and distributed.
If an older person suffers from flu or fever, they must immediately consult their doctor so that they may guide them to isolate them and help alleviate the symptoms such as breathing difficulties.
Treatment for Coronavirus
There is no treatment for Coronavirus to date. Doctors recommended treating this disease symptomatically, which mean you need to treat each and every symptom rather than treating the virus itself.
How Serious Is Coronavirus for Elderly People?
COVID-19 damages the lungs and may cause mild to moderate respiratory infection, especially in seniors who are immune-compromised or have underlying health problems from chronic diseases.
This situation may lead to fatal pneumonia. However, currently, 98% of people who suffered from COVID-19 have recovered quickly.
Precautionary Measures Seniors Must Take For Covid-19
Elderly people must take preventive measures that may keep them safe from the Coronavirus.
These precautions are:
- It is essential to wash hands after cough or sneeze
- Do not touch your eyes or mouth
- Practice sneeze and cough hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus
- Seniors are advised to drink plenty of water and maintain a proper diet and stop smoking
- It is also essential to wash your hands with soap or sanitizer if you have contacted any pet animal
- It is not advised to use a mask if you are healthy, and your routine is healthy too. If needed, you may wear a simple surgical mask if you are suffering from regular flu or cold symptoms
- It is advised to use N-95 mask if you work as a healthcare staff especially in the special care units or when performing specific procedures
If an elderly person is planning to travel soon, then they must take the following precautions to stay safe:
- Stay away from the people who are ill or have symptoms of cold/flu
- Keep washing your hands either with soap and hot water or use hand sanitizer during your travels
- Avoid touching your face
- Seek treatment for any underlying health issues such as breathing difficulties or heart health
There is good reason to be aware of Coronavirus and take care to avoid it. Elderly people and those with underlying health problems are the people most likely to suffer the worst from the virus.
The best thing you can do is to maintain excellent hygiene standards by washing your hands thoroughly.
The WHO has advised everyone to take all these crucial steps that will help to keep them and others safe from this virus.