COVID-19: Health and Safety Advice

  • April 28, 2020
Facts about COVID-19, mythbusting, safety measures and advice to cope with stress.

COVID-19 FACTS

  • SYMPTOMS: The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness.

    Less common symptoms include aches and pains, headache, sore throat, diarrhoea, red or irritated eyes, loss of taste or smell, and a rash on skin or discolouration of fingers or toes.

    Serious symptoms that require immediate medical attention include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, and loss of speech or movement.  If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

    Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment.

  • Even people with no or very mild symptoms of COVID-19 can transmit the virus. 

  • The elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill from the virus, but in general, people of all ages can be infected by COVID-19.

  • The virus that cause COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. You can also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

  • Currently there is no proven medicine recommended to prevent or treat COVID-19.

SAFETY MEASURES

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease, but there are a lot of measures we can take to limit our exposure.

WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN

Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol.

Clean your hands before and after every meal.

Please note that wearing rubber gloves in public is not an effective method of protecting yourself from infection since gloves get contaminated. Regular washing your hands offers more protection than gloves.

PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING, STAY HOME

If possible, work from home.

Do not invite guests over.

Avoid crowded places, gatherings, public transportation, taxis and car-sharing.

Refrain from using non-essential services outside. Consider using delivery services.

WEAR A MASK OR FACE COVER IN PUBLIC TO PROTECT OTHERS

Budapest residents must wear masks or face cover upon entering grocery stores, markets and other stores or using the public transportation.

Avoid touching the mask and change it frequently. Please note that certain types of masks cannot be cleaned or reused. Make sure to check out the instructions.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) recommends the use of cloth face cover to protect others when outside, especially in areas where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. If you cannot sew a cloth cover, use a bandana with rubber bands or cut up a t-shirt.

AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE

Viruses that affect the respiratory system enter the body through mucosal membranes which are found in the nose, oral cavity and lips. With poor hand hygiene, it's easy to acquire a viral infection this way.

IF YOU GO SHOPPING, KEEP DISTANCE FROM OTHERS

Wear a mask or face cover if yo go shopping.

If possible, sanitize the handles of shopping carts or baskets before touching. Once home, wash your hands thoroughly and also after handling and storing your purchased products.

Avoid using cash, pay with card.

COVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE WHEN SNEEZING AND COUGHING

Use a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands immediately.

AVOID PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH OTHERS

Avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses and keep an at least 1.5 meter distance between yourself and others.

CLEAN AND DISINFECT FREQUENTLY TOUCHED OBJECTS AND SURFACES

Etc: phones, tablets, keyboards, tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles.

KEEP 2 WEEKS WORTH OF SUPPLIES, BUT DO NOT HOARD

Do not buy more food and medicine than you need. Be mindful of others. Support local businesses: order from local restaurants, use local services, buy from local stores.

IF YOU FEEL SICK, STAY HOME AND CALL YOUR DOCTOR FOR ADVICE

If you need more information, please visit koronavirus.gov.hu or call the Hungarian government's toll-free coronavirus hotline (+36 80 277 455, +36 80 277 456)

MYTH BUSTED

  • Drinking disinfectant or spraying it on your body WILL NOT protect against COVID-19. Do NOT under any circumstances consume or introduce disinfectant into your body.

  • Pneumonia vaccines do not protect from the virus. We do not have a vaccine for COVID-19 yet.

  • Antibiotics are not effective against COVID-19. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.

  • Drinking alcohol does not protect from COVID-19.

  • Hot temperatures, warm weather does not stop the spread of the virus. Cold weather cannot kill the virus either. Coronavirus can be transmitted in all areas regardless of weather conditions.

  • Several dogs and cats n contact with infected humans have tested positive for COVID-19. There is no evidence that animals can transmit the coronavirus to humans, but avoid touching animals as their fur or skin can be contaminated.

  • Flies, mosquito bites do not transmit COVID-19.

  • 5G networks do not spread COVID-19.

  • Some masks cannot be reused, cleaned or sterilized. Read the instructions on your mask carefully. Replace your mask immediately if it becomes damp.
    Do not touch your mask without washing your hands first or else the mask becomes contaminated.

Coping with stress during the pandemic

  • It is normal to feel stress, anger, anxiety and sadness during the crisis.

  • Keep regular contact with friends and family via videochat, phone calls and email. Discuss your experiences and support each other.

  • Maintain a healthy diet

  • Exercise at home: physical activity improves your health, fosters development, can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases and makes you feel and function better.

  • Get enough quality sleep: Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime. Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, tablets and phones from the bedroom.

  • Take time to relax during the day: Leave your workstation for short breaks. Stand up, move around. Get fresh air if possible.

  • Make sure to unwind after the day: Set work and tools aside.

  • Do something creative to boost your morale: draw, paint or do DIY projects

  • Reduce time of watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.