P-R-O-T-E-C-T your home from the spread of disease

By now you may have heard about the Coronavirus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes it as a new strain of a virus that belongs to the same family, or types of viruses, that cause illness ranging from the common cold through to the more extreme Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

As we continue to follow the development of the virus and monitor how it spreads, it’s essential to stay alert to the steps you can take at home to P-R-O-T-E-C-T yourself and your family from spreading diseases.

Prevention is vital. When it comes to your home, ensuring you have optimal germ protection at your disposal is of primary concern.

Remove germs from surfaces that are commonly touched in your home using a highly effective agent like hypochlorite (bleach) as recommended by the Centre for Disease Control. Frequently used surfaces to clean are tabletops, taps, door handles, cell phones, computer keyboards and mouses, toilets, floors and bathroom vanities.

Observe your family for symptoms related to the Coronavirus. According to the Centre for Disease Control symptoms to look out for include a runny nose, cough, fever, headache, sore throat or a general feeling of being unwell. Seek medical advice immediately if your family show any of these symptoms.

Take hand sanitiser with you wherever you go. Hand sanitisers which have a high alcohol content (minimum 60%) are the best to get rid of germs if water and soap are not available. Make sure your family thoroughly covers their hands with it, especially after they have come into contact with areas that are commonly used, such as public toilets, door handles or menus in restaurants.

Ensure your family washes their hands with a hygiene soap before and after using the toilet, when you enter the house after being outside as well as before and after meals. If anyone in the family becomes sick, avoid sharing facecloths, eating utensils, toothbrushes and wash clothes separately, preferably at a higher temperature (at least 60ºC) to prevent the spread of viruses in your home.

Contain any items in your home that come into contact with human waste; remove toilet waste from all surfaces and disinfect with thick bleach, used tissues to go straight into lined bins, toilet paper is flushed correctly. Germs can travel up to 3 metres after sneezing. This contributes to spreading unwanted infections, so always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and use soap and water to wash your hands immediately after.

Tell everyone in your household the steps they can take to protect your home against germs and encourage them to spread the same message – preventing the spread of a virus is a group effort.