Jamaica and COVID-19

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses known to cause respiratory illnesses ranging in severity from the common cold to Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

The virus can be transmitted from animals to humans and between humans by physical contact or through the air.

Symptoms of the virus include acute onset of fever (over 38 degrees Celsius) and flu-like symptoms, including coughing and sneezing, as well as breathing difficulties.

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How to Protect Yourself and Others

The methods of preventing or decreasing the spread of the coronavirus are numerous. The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) recommends practising good personal hygiene and food safety, and exercising caution while travelling as vital ways to avoid the potentially deadly virus.

Practise Good Personal Hygiene

  • Wash hands with soap and clean water or sanitise with an alcohol-based rub frequently, but especially after coming into contact with someone exhibiting flu-like symptoms; before and after preparing food; before eating and when hands are visibly dirty.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Discard tissues and properly wash fabrics that have been used to blow the nose.

Practise Food Safety

  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
  • Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid unprotected contact with live animals and animal carcasses.
  • Use clean utensils and surfaces when preparing food.
  • Properly wash hands before and after preparing food.
  • Do not consume animals that are sick or that have died of disease.

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