The world is paying a lot of attention to viruses right now, with over 87000 people across the globe showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Is this a pandemic and is it something to be worried about?
A pandemic is called when a disease goes worldwide, so with nearly 3000 cases now in countries other than China, we are probably not far off COVID-19 being declared a pandemic.
It is already a pandemic in terms of the economies of many countries with loss of millions of dollars in education and tourism in particular.
In a interview on a television show lately a politician said something very simple about the main way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it was that if we can contain it, we can delay it and give health providers time to work on stopping it – whether helping those with it to heal and in the development of a vaccine.
So keeping those who have symptoms or possibly have exposure isolated, we are hopefully containing it.
The other measure being used to help stop it spreading is correct handwashing.
We all know it is the most important control to prevent food poisoning. For those in the health industry, hand washing is the primary method for preventing cross infection between patients.
This COVID-19 outbreak is highlighting just how important handwashing is in preventing the spread of contagious and easily transferred viruses and other micro-organisms.
It is just not acceptable to use the the bathroom and not wash your hands afterwards or to not wash hands regularly and this outbreak is hopefully making people aware that they individually have at least some control of this situation.