So we are into the first week of widespread Coronavirus concern and alert in Italy. In January, it was just two Chinese nationals receiving treatment in Rome’s Spallanzani Hospital. Since late last week, we have seen the spread of the virus with cases not only increasing in number but spreading from region to region, country to country. As of this morning in Italy we have 323 cases and 11 deaths with the media blasting terrifying reports and the web disseminating misinformation and creating panic.
There are no cases as of yet in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region.
What the reports fail to state is the good recovery rate of most cases and how the truly vulnerable are really the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Yes, we should still be SUPER VIGILANT and use common sense tactics to limit exposure and keep a hygienic environment around us. But more, importantly, we must be calm and practical.
From the Italian Health Ministry site: “Like other respiratory diseases, new coronavirus infection can cause mild symptoms such as a cold, sore throat, cough and fever, or more severe symptoms such as pneumonia and breathing difficulties. It can rarely be fatal.
Generally the symptoms are mild and slow in the beginning. Some people become infected but do not develop symptoms or malaise.
Most people (around 80%) recover from the disease without requiring special care. About 1 in 6 people with COVID-19 become seriously ill and develop breathing difficulties.
The people most susceptible to severe forms are the elderly and those with pre-existing diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. At the moment the mortality rate is around 2%. (WHO source)”
There have been several messages circulating on the internet here in Italy, suggesting for people to just stay home. While that is not possible 100% of the time, the implication is that if we limit our exposure we will not overwhelm the healthcare providers, hospitals and the entire healthcare system, so please follow common sense guidelines.
Here are the Center for Disease Control guidelines for staying on top of your hygiene routine:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (that’s 2 rounds of the Happy Birthday song), especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Other useful advice from the FVG REGION WEBSITE:
ALL THE SUBJECTS WHO SHOULD PRESENT Mild RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMATOLOGY MUST STAY HOME AND CONTACT THEIR OCCURRING DOCTOR WHO WILL ASSESS THE CLINICAL SITUATION AND THE THERAPEUTIC MEASURES TO BE UNDERTAKEN.
FOR ALL ASYMPTOMATIC SUBJECTS IT IS RECOMMENDED TO USE THE HYGIENE MEASURES FOR RESPIRATORY DIFFUSION DISEASES THAT ARE:
• Wash your hands often and, in this regard, it is recommended to make antiseptic solutions for hand washing available in all public places, gyms, supermarkets, pharmacies and other meeting places.
• Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
• Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
• Do not take antiviral drugs or antibiotics unless prescribed by your doctor.
• Clean the surfaces with chlorine and alcohol based disinfectants.
• Use a mask only if you suspect that you are ill or assist sick people.
• Made in China products and parcels received from China are not dangerous.
• If you have a fever (37, 5 or more), a sore throat, a cough and have returned from China contact the Single Emergency Number 112 .
• Pets do not spread the new Coronavirus.
• Avoid indoor meeting places and large gatherings.
CONTACT THE FREE NUMBER 800 500 300 (active 24/24) EXCLUSIVELY FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THE ORDER OF THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND OF THE FVG REGION.
Instructions from the CITY OF TRIESTE are as follows:
These are the measures in place in the territory of #Trieste which are
in force immediately and until March 1, 2020 (until further updated) are indicated:
📌 suspension of all events or initiatives of any nature and events in a public or private place, whether indoors or open to the public, of a recreational, sporting, religious, cultural nature, discos and night clubs
📌 Closure of educational services for children and schools of all levels, recreational and PAG (youth programs)
📌 Closure of all museums, libraries and all other cultural institutes and places to the public
Municipality of Trieste: urgent measures regarding the containment and management of the epidemiological emergency from Covid-2019 (Coronavirus) currently in force until March 1st (or until further updated).
Finally, here is the link to the Italian Ministry of Health, where your will also find information and advice.
In the meantime, let’s stay calm, plan our activities and travel, keep a rigorous hygiene routine and let’s start saying hello sans the hugging and the kissing for the time being.
(For translation of these websites into English, most browsers offer the option to translate a page by right clicking your mouse while holding the Control button)
If you’re having trouble finding hand sanitizer, in a pinch you can make your own! If you have any vodka leftover, I would recommend making a nice martini to help relax during these trying times!😆