Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public:
When and how to use masks
It can take up to 14 days for the symptoms of coronavirus to appear. Symptoms may include cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and fever. Coronavirus can also cause more severe illness including pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.
How coronavirus is spread
Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets.
You could get the virus if you:
- come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing
- touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on
- Wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
When to use a mask?
- If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected coronavirus infection.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask
- Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
- To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
Thanks to the HSE and WHO for advice for this article.
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).