CAMAF Member Option Guides

Council for Medical Schemes on COVID-19

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2 CMScript 1/2020 Who is at risk and what are the risk factors for acquiring the infection? Risk factors include: • Individuals with a recent travel history • History of exposure to individuals infected with COVID-19 • Individuals with unprotected exposure to farm/wild animals • Individuals with pre-existing conditions, such as di- abetes mellitus, asthma, cancer and other immuno- suppressive conditions like pregnancy. • Individuals over the age of 50 years • Children • Smokers What are the symptoms? The signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure and even death. The incubation period (the period between exposure to the virus and the appearance of the first symptoms) is between 10 - 14 days. Infected patients can also be asymptomatic, meaning they do not display any of the symptoms above, despite having the virus in their systems. Diagnosis of coronavirus infection Your doctor or healthcare practitioner will ask you ques- tions about your symptoms, people you have recently in- teracted with, any history of travel, your work and home environments. A blood test or respiratory specimen test (including sputum, saliva, etc.) may be done to confirm the diagnosis. Infection with COVID-19 is diagnosed in the laboratory. Results are generally available within a few hours to days. Additional specimen types such as stool or urine may be collected and stored as well. How to prevent Coronavirus infection? To prevent the spread of the COVID-19, global author- ities, including WHO and the South African NICD rec- ommends good practice of hand hygiene (hand washing with soap and water), cough etiquette, avoiding contact with animals when in high-risk countries, and adhering to the following: • Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections. • Frequent handwashing, especially after direct con- tact with ill people or their environment. • Avoiding visiting markets where live animals are sold. In addition: • High risk individuals are advised to delay all non-es- sential travel until the situation abates. • Individuals with symptoms of acute respiratory in- fection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing and wash hands thoroughly). • Health practitioners should provide travellers with information to reduce the general risk of acute respi- ratory infections, via travel health clinics, travel agen- cies, conveyance operators and at points of entry.

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