Avoiding infection

Avoiding infection

You can protect yourself and others from infection by following these recommendations

Wash your hands regularly with water and soap, for at least 20 seconds each time. A video has been prepared showing the importance of hand washing as part of infection prevention, longer version and shorter version.
If water and soap are not readily available, a good alternative is to use hand disinfectant if you have used a credit card or touched surfaces that are touched by numerous people, such as door handles and handrails. The website of the Directorate of Health contains use full information on how to protect yourself from infection.
Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth.
Clean often-used surfaces more often.
If you need to cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or use a disposable handkerchief. This will prevent droplets on your hands. Take care that you do not cough or sneeze onto others.
Limit close contact with other people, such as handshakes and hugs. Find other means that do not involve touch to greet people.
Use masks where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. Masks are an important addition to personal infection prevention but do not replace hand washing and other infection prevention measures.

Masks covering the mouth and nose must be worn where it is not possible to keep a distance of 2 metre from people you do not know by using limits to the number of people. It is important to read the instructions on the use of facemasks. This applies e.g. to public transport, including domestic flights and passenger ferries, and operations such as hair salons and massage parlours.

Remember that damp and contaminated masks are useless and can increase the risk of infection. In addition, disposable masks that are used more than once are useless and can also increase the risk of infection. A protective mask that does not cover both nose and mouth and is worn on the forehead or under the chin is useless.

Avoid interacting with people who have flu symptoms.

If you suspect you are infected

Stay at home and contact your healthcare centre, the Læknavaktin (out-of-hours medical assistance service) in phone No. 1700 or the online chat site at heilsuvera.is. Health care professionals will respond and advise you on the next steps. It is very important that you do not visit your health centre or the after-hours healthcare in person. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, the Rakning C-19 app can help you to remember where you have been during the time that you became infected or suspected that you were infected. The app is an important tool in the comprehensive work carried out here in Iceland with regard to COVID-19.

If you suspect that someone close to you is infected

Take care to avoid close contact with the person in question. Advise such person to contact this/her healthcare centre, phone No. 1700 or Heilsuvera.is to discuss their symptoms and obtain advice on what to do.

Easily readable information on the coronavirus can be found here. The information was prepared by the National Association of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.

Main symptoms of COVID-19

The symptoms are, for the most part, similar to those of influenza: coughing, fever, throat pain, difficulty breathing, bone and muscle pain and tiredness, digestive system symptoms, sudden loss of the sense of smell and taste. COVID-19 can also cause serious illness with lower respiratory system infections and pneumonia, often seen as breathing difficulties on the 4th–8th day of illness.

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