COVID-19 Fact Sheet for the Elderly

BABS’ Virologist and Professor Peter White and colleagues have put together a flyer to provide straight-forward guidelines to help the elderly stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please pass this flyer around.

| 18 Mar 2020

HOW DOES IT SPREAD

The virus is typically spread in droplets when some­one coughs or sneezes.

  • To infect you, the virus needs to travel from the throat and lungs of the infected person to you.
  • The virus can infect you if it gets into your nose, eyes, mouth, throat or lungs.
  • Droplets don’t remain suspended in the air for more than a minute or two.

The virus can remain on surfaces for up to 24 hours.

  • Touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your face can spread the virus to you.

 

HOW DO I PREVENT INFECTION?

 

2 meters

STOPPING DIRECT SPREAD:

  • Remain at a distance (about 6 ft/2 m) from people. You shouldn’t get infected if you are walking around or sitting on a bench if you are at least this far away from people.
  • Stay away from anyone coughing or sneezing, and don’t get too close to people talking.
  • Stay away from crowded areas where you are forced into close spaces with people (e.g. bus­es, trains, lifts).

STOPPING INDIRECT SPREAD:

  • Avoid touching surfaces or shaking hands with people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if you have touched surfaces that other people may have contaminated.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Soap and water (for 20 secs) or hand sanitisor will kill the virus.
  • If washing hands in a public place, avoid con­taminating your hands after by touching sur­faces e.g. the door to the bathroom.

 

TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE 

 

to do
  • Don’t go out more than necessary

  • Stock up on medications, toiletries and longer life foods.

  • Consider buying vitamin C, D and B12 supple­ments, as packaged foods can be low in vita­mins.

  • Get things delivered and left at your door to avoid contact.

  • Avoid using cash, use contactless payment in­stead.

  • Do gentle exercises, like walking, in areas that are not crowded. This is good for immunity.

  • Have people to call for help and advice.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help for things that you need.

  • Have the phone numbers ready for key friends and family members.

do and dont

 

 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • A continuous cough (repeated coughing, not just a few coughs)

  • A high temperature (shivers or fever)

  • Feels like you have the flu and are feeling too weak to go about daily activities

  • Muscle aches and pains

  • Headaches

  • Tiredness

  • Dizziness

 

To save this fact sheet to your device or print, download the PDF:

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any of these symptoms, call 1800 022 222 or a GP.

Call 000 for an ambulance if you are having serious difficulty breathing.

 

Authors:

Dr Dan Deere, Microbiologist, Water Futures Ltd. Pty.

Professor Peter White, Professor in Microbiology, UNSW

Emma Harding, PhD Candidate, UNSW