COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control in Shelters for Women and Children Survivors of Domestic and Family Violence in the Caribbean, 4 June 2020
Pan American Health Organization
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[Introduction]. On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the COVID-19 outbreak was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness (ARI) caused by a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Most people infected with this virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Others, however, may become seriously ill. Older people, and those with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. COVID-19 spreads primarily through contact and droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about COVID-19, including how it spreads and how to protect yourself and others. While there is still much to learn about the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, basic protective measures focus on washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently, keeping at least a 1 meter (3 feet) distance from others, avoiding to touch your face, practicing respiratory etiquette (e.g., by coughing into a flexed elbow), and seeking medical care early in case of symptoms (e.g., fever, cough and difficulty breathing). Additional infection prevention and control (IPC) measures that are needed will depend on the local COVID-19 transmission dynamics and the type of contact required by the shelter activity, including any care activity.