Can washing your hands save Toronto from a coronavirus outbreak?

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Can washing your hands save Toronto from a coronavirus outbreak?


Public health officials are advising residents that good old-fashioned hand washing is still one of the best ways to keep viruses at bay.

Officials held a news conference Friday to update the public on what local health authorities are doing here after the coronavirus outbreak has killed more than two dozen people and made hundreds of others ill, mostly in China.

Some of the same common steps taken to guard against routine influenza should be practised to prevent the spread of coronavirus if it made its way to Canada, said Toronto’s chief public health officer Dr. Eileen de Villa.

Here are some routine measures:

  • Yes, washing your hands is still the leading weapon to kill the spread of viruses. Wash frequently, and thoroughly, with soap and water or use an alcohol-hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or arm.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Seek medical attention if flu-like symptoms persist.
  • Only depend on credible sources, like public health websites, for information on how to stay safe and updates details about coronavirus.
  • Wearing masks when you’re well is not an effective measure. But you may want to put a mask on someone who’s actually sick

  • If you’ve come home from recent international travel and become ill with respiratory signs and symptoms such as cough and fever, report your travel history to any health professional, or an emergency room if you need to go.

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