To understand how to protect yourself against the COVID-19 virus, you should know what are the different symptoms between COVID-19 coronavirus and versus our usual common flu and the common cold. Understanding this may help you understand the virus better and whether to visit a doctor or hospital for advice. In any sickness case though, wear a face mask, wash and sanitize your hands!
What is the difference in symptoms between COVID-19 coronavirus vs common flu vs cold?
What to do if you have a cold, flu or suspected coronavirus?
If you have a cold, you should not panic, you would be fine resting and recuperating with plenty of fluid (water, hot soup, etc) and nutritious food. If you suspect you have the common flu, you may seek treatment at the nearest clinic and informed them clearly on your symptoms so that they can make a judgment call on your sickness. If you choose to self-medicate and rest at home, do take precautions to seek assistance if you are not improving. Most common flu patients recover well, but if you have underlying conditions or old or frail, please do not hesitate to seek medical attention. If you suspect you have the coronavirus, do call in advance to the clinic, polyclinic, hospitals, let them know and if you have a history with someone in the danger zone of coronavirus, then they will assign an ambulance to take you for check-ups and isolation wards. For Singapore citizens, PR, or foreigners working or staying on long term visa in Singapore, all treatments related to coronavirus is 100% free and paid by the Singapore government. Only tourists and short term visa visitors have to pay for their own treatments.
Wash your hands to prevent catching virus
Do note that we believe the best way to fight against coronavirus is via WASHING or SANITIZING YOUR HANDS, not by wearing face masks. For more in-depth, do take a look at this how to wash your hands properly to prevent catching coronavirus flu.
Are you worried and thinking how to protect yourself against the coronavirus COVID-19?
You may be worried about the Wuhan coronavirus flu that has sickened many in Singapore and Asia and you are thinking about what precautions you can take. The 2019-nCoV virus is going to remain for the foreseeable future so please take some precautions. Here are some simple ways you can start applying to keep yourself safe and healthy
- Do not touch your face or mouth unnecessarily.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often. Find out how to wash your hands properly to prevent catching coronavirus flu.
- Wear a face mask when you are sick to prevent infecting others.
- Keep strong and healthy, eat lots of fruits for vitamin C
- If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Use a good antiseptic disinfectant to disinfect and clean your home, office, and car.
What face masks to use for coronavirus?
The public is now buying as many face masks as possible to prevent them from catching the coronavirus. You should understand the different face masks and the different protection provided. There are a few different types of face masks to protect against us from the coronavirus.
- N95 respirator face mask
- Surgical face masks – 3 plys
- Surgical face masks – ATSM1 and ATSM2
N95 respirator works best against the virus.
The N95 mask is the best protection, as the antiviral N95 mask is thicker and filters the air of the virus. It is the reason why medical staff and doctors use N95 at their work. However, for the public, it is not recommended to wear the N95 currently. This is because it is quite challenging to wear these masks on for a long period of time because it is more difficult to breathe. You have to work to breathe as the material is thicker. Your face and mouth will get hot and moist.
Surgical Face Masks 3 ply
A surgical face mask usually has 3ply for filtering and to repel water and particles away from your mouth and nose. What you need to know is the outer side of the mask that faces outside, is the one with color, and the inner side of the mask that touches your mouth is the white side. Masks can be worn on one side only. The white side (inner ply) is used to absorb moisture. The middle ply and the outer ply is used to prevent drops (such as droplets, mucus, or sweat) from getting into the mask. A surgical mask may not be sufficient to block the virus directly, but it is most effective and good at keeping pathogens from your nose and mouth. Wearing a surgical face mask in public is sufficient to protect yourself against the flu virus given that community contagion is not happening yet.
How do I wear a surgical face mask correctly?
You need to make sure you are wearing your face mask correctly to covers both your mouth and nose.
- Wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer before touching the mask
- Remove a mask from the box and check there are no tears or holes on either side.
- The top of the mask is the one with a stiff, bendable edge that is meant to bend to contour around your nose.
- The front of the mask is the coloured side (usually blue or pink) while the side that faces your mouth is white.
- Hold the masks by the ear loops, place each loop over each ear. If it is band or strings, tie it securely over your head.
- Mold or pinch the stiff, bendable edge to contour around your nose.
- Make sure your mask covers both your nose and mouth securely.
How to remove a face mask correctly?
- Wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer before touching the mask.
- Avoid touching the front of the mask, only touch the ear loops or bands.
- Pull the loops and pull the mask away from you. Dispose of it carefully in a rubbish bin.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
Surgical Masks VS N95 Masks VS Cloth Masks and How To Use It
Most of us wear a mask, but did you know how to wear it properly? Some of us sometimes move the covers when we eat, therefore damaging the protection the mask offers. So when we put it back, it’s not as clean as before, and its barrier is not as effective. Let’s learn about masks first.
What is considered a face mask?
A mask is a product that is designed to catch particles that can contaminate our health, such as viruses or bacterias or pathogens that carry disease. There are different mask types:-
A surgical mask is a mask that is used by medical staff such as doctors, nurses, or pharmacists. The surgical mask has 3 plies. The first ply is the white ply that works to absorb the moisture from its user breath. The second ply is used as a filter, and the last is the third ply. The third ply is usually colored blue, green, or pink; it functions to protect from external factors such as droplets, blood, particles, and dust.
The N95 mask is a mask that can filter up to 95% microparticles. It is usually used in a foggy environment, such as when there is a fire. N95 masks can protect you from the virus, but the price is higher than surgical masks. When you wear an N95 mask, you will find it harder to breathe.
A mask made from cloth that is not hospital-grade. It can be used to prevent dust and protect from external factors. But probably not as effective as the surgical mask or N95 mask to protect from Covid19. The benefit of using this mask is it washable, meaning you can wash it and use it over and over, so it will save cost.
The difference between Surgical Mask VS N95 Mask VS Cloth Mask
While surgical masks can’t give you extra protection from air pollution, surgical masks can be worn to prevent droplets when you sneeze or cough to spread everywhere. N95 mask is a mask you can use for extra protection from air pollution, as well as a virus because N95 works as a respirator. N95 is designed to filter small particles such as dust. But, keep in mind N95 is not suitable for kids or people with respiratory or lung problems. While the size of the N95 mask is too big for children, the material of N95 can make people with respiratory issues hard to breathe when wearing this mask. For cloth masks, it is the cheapest and easiest to get, but it’s not as effective as a surgical mask or n95 mask to fight covid19. However, it can be used to protect you from dust. If you are still not sure which mask you have to use, here is short summary:-
- 3 ply surgical face masks are the best middle option now
- N95 is the best, but too difficult and uncomfortable to wear for long, so use only if you are around high-risk group.
- simple 2 ply masks or cloth masks are not ideal, but still better than nothing.
How To wear N95 Mask correctly?
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before you touch the mask. Or to simply say touch the mask only with clean hands.
- Check if the mask is in good condition (there is no tear up or damage)
- Wear the mask, so it covers your mouth and nose. Make sure the strap is over your ear.
- Position the mask, so it follows your nose shape.
- Secure the position by using the strap over your head and position it until you feel comfortable.
- Test if you wear it right by trying to take a deep breath and exhale it. When you inhale, the masker will move slightly. When you exhale, there shouldn’t be any air from the mask.
Improperly wearing a mask can decrease the effectiveness of the cover and increase discomfort on its user. To give protection, either type of these masks have to be worn consistently and adequately. When used in the right way, these masks can help to prevent the spread of the virus.
Where to buy surgical face mask in Singapore now?
There are face masks sold online now, that has minimal contacts and no need to go outside and get exposed.
Unfortunately, stocks are currently sold out, do like and follow https://facebook.com/seniorcareshop for latest updates on stock availability. We have also consolidated hand sanitizer, thermometers and other important disease prevention kits in this anti-virus webpage.
Where can I collect surgical face masks from the government?
Each household is entitled to a pack of 4 masks, with verification via your NRIC. The government has started the distribution of facemask from 1st Feb and is expected to finish the distribution by 29 Feb 2020. Although the face mask collection by the government has ended, there are future rounds if the crisis continues. If you want to know where to collect your surgical face masks, please do visit https://www.maskgowhere.gov.sg/ The Singapore government has also highlighted that they have stockpiled supplies of face masks and will be making further rounds of distribution when the need arises.
Where are the victims of the coronavirus being infected in Singapore?
Here is a live active map of the areas in Singapore where victims caught their virus. https://sgwuhan.xose.net/ The good news is that you cannot catch the virus by visiting a place where a victim has visited before. There is no evidence of community spreading of the Wuhan flu virus. You can rest assured that visiting any place in Singapore where victims have visited does not mean you will catch the virus. You can still visit VivoCity, Northpoint, Lot 1 safely without fear of catching the virus. The mall management has also taken the effort to disinfect and thoroughly cleanse the place.
Singapore is ready for Covid19 Coronavirus when it becomes a permanent seasonal flu
Singapore has become a role model for COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic management because we are managing this very well with contract tracing and great healthcare management. The fatality rate of COVID-19 in Singapore is still 0%, a very low rate indeed thanks to the healthcare system in Singapore. WHO (World Health Organization) has voiced that the coronavirus is probably going to be permanent seasonal flu just like our common flu and H1N1 because it is highly contagious. The good news is Singapore is ready for this flu pandemic. With Singapore’s robust society, Singaporeans manage to control this contagious coronavirus flu remarkably.
For other hand or surface sanitizers, thermometers, face surgical masks, and other ways of fighting the flu COVID-19 coronavirus from Wuhan, do check out this page for all the anti-virus products. Your home may be safe, but you want to clean your hands, your shoes, your phones when you reach home from work or play. You may want a portable hand sanitizer spray that is gentle for elderly, children. Similarly, a portable antiseptic disinfectant surface sanitizer spray for disinfecting shoes, phones, tables, etc would be great to carry around. In fact, I personally use a disinfectant to clean and disinfect my shoe soles and my mobile phone twice daily, once when I reach the office and once when I reach home. Our family even disinfect our family car with alcohol spray. If stocks are sold out, do like and follow https://facebook.com/seniorcareshop for the latest updates on stock availability.
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