With panic setting in since the announcement of the first documented case of the COVID-19 Corona Virus in South Africa, it has become increasingly important to understand HOW this virus is spread, what steps to take to  prevent infection and what to do if you suspect that you or somebody you know may have contracted the virus.

The South African Figure Skating Association (SAFSA) is monitoring the situation and is consultation with various authority’s and will issue a statement shortly.

IMPORTANT: the information below is for informational purposes only and has been released by reputable organisations. In all cases it is vital that you consult with a qualified medical professional for advice on treatment, preventative measures and diagnosis. If in doubt, consult a doctor!

Due to the fact that little is known about prevalent the virus is in South Africa, it is suggested that people be aware of their environment and the people within it and not take any unnecessary risks with regard to exposure, ESPECIALLY if your immune system is compromised.

If you are displaying any of the symptoms associated with the virus, seek medical opinion immediately and PLEASE refrain from coming to the Ice Station for a period of at least 2 weeks since first symptoms, or until a medical doctor has confirmed that you are not infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Limiting the opportunity for the virus to spread is the best way to prevent a pandemic until a suitable vaccine, cure or treatment can be found.

The ISU has issued a communication about the virus and this can be found HERE

Please see the information from the Western Cape government, on behalf of the Department of Health:

CORONAVIRUS POSTER (INFO-GRAPHIC)

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019?

Coronaviruses are large groups of viruses that are common amongst animals. These viruses can make people sick, usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to a common cold. A new coronavirus called COVID-19 was identified in China and is associated with an outbreak of pneumonia.

HOW IT SPREADS

The COVID-19 spreads mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The COVID-19 is spread through: • The air by coughing and sneezing • Close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

SYMPTOMS

Mild to severe respiratory illness with • fever • cough • difficulty breathing • sore throat

The complete clinical picture with regards to COVID-19 is still not clear. Patients with underlying illness and the elderly appear to be at increased risk of severe illness.

WHO IS AT GREATER RISK?

Currently travellers to Wuhan, China and other affected areas.

TREATMENT

Treatment is supportive (e.g. provide oxygen for patients with shortness of breath or treatment for fever).

        • There is no specific antiviral treatment available.
        • Antibiotics do not treat viral infections. However, antibiotics may be required if bacterial secondary infection develops.

PREVENTION

There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against COVID-19 infection. Transmission is reduced through:

        • Washing hands often
        • Avoid touching with unwashed hands
        • Avoid close contact with infected people
        • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, once used throw it away.

If you are mildly sick, keep yourself hydrated, stay at home, and rest.

MEASURES IN PLACE

Fever screening is in place at international airports.

        • Procedures are in place for case detection, isolation and management for quick diagnosis to be made.
        • All health facilities will be able to manage suspected or confirmed cases and refer to the appropriate referral or designated hospital.
        • Protocols are in place for follow up of case contacts to ensure that the virus does not spread.

Contact the General Public Hotline 0800 029 999. It operates from Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 16:00

On behalf of the Department of Health