Know The Symptoms
The first thing you need to know are the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus and how it spreads. Awareness of the virus is the first step in prevention. The virus may take between one to 14 days to develop symptoms.
COVID-19 is spread by:
- Touching unsanitised public surfaces (counters, doors, elevator buttons, handles, communal pens, public transport, etc.)
- Person-to-person contact (shaking hands, close contact, talking, etc.)
- Initially, a sore throat that lasts three to four days
- Runny nose
- Difficulty breathing (in severe cases)
If you present these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider, telephonically, to discuss your symptoms and avoid the spread of COVID-19. If your symptoms progress, seek medical attention immediately.
Mild symptoms can be treated at home under self isolation, however, more serious symptoms will need to be monitored by a healthcare establishment.
Who’s At Risk?
When it comes to COVID-19, everyone is at risk. However, older adults and individuals with chronic health issues need to be extra careful during the outbreak. This includes individuals who have the following:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
Symptoms that are more severe may lead to pneumonia, so ensure that you keep a close eye on how your illness progresses.
Discovery Health Medical Scheme COVID-19 Benefit
If you’re part of the Discovery Health Medical Scheme, you have access to a new benefit called the WHO Global Outbreak Benefit that covers you in cases of COVID-19. The WHO Global Outbreak Benefit provides full funding for tests and treatment in confirmed cases of COVID-19. Find out more about this benefit here.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are covered for:
- Diagnostic testing
- Diagnostic testing for influenza
- Consultations with healthcare professionals
- Defined supportive treatment and medicines
- Discovery Health Medical Scheme will pay for treatment in-hospital according to the benefits available on your chosen health plan and scheme rules.
People who contract COVID-19 may take up to 14 days to develop symptoms. You should only be tested for particular reasons, and there is a specific process to follow to test for COVID-19.
- If you have COVID-19, this benefit pays for the test that confirms it as well as for an influenza test.
- If you do not have COVID-19, the benefit does not pay for an influenza test and your health plan benefits apply.
Dedicated COVID-19 Info Hubs Are Available
If you need any information about COVID-19, call the NICD hotline number: 080 002 9999. Here, you’ll get more information about the virus.
The government has also implemented an official South African Government COVID-19 WhatsApp service. Send the word “HI” to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp.
A Few Preventative Tips
- Wash your hands often. After you’ve been out shopping for supplies, coughed or sneezed, make sure you wash your hands!
- If you don’t have access to water or soap to wash your hands, use hand sanitisers that have at least 60% alcohol content.
- Try not to touch your face – eyes, nose and mouth – keep your hands away from your face, especially if you haven’t washed or sanitised them.
- Cover your nose and mouth with either a flexed elbow or a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
- Wear a mask when out in public.
- Take supplements such as vitamin C to keep the immune system in check (please note: this is not a cure, this is just a precaution).
- Avoid close contact with someone who has flu-like symptoms.
- If you feel you have the symptoms, rather self isolate and call your doctor to discuss your symptoms than book an appointment. This will help prevent the spread of illness.
- If your symptoms are mild, you can self treat it at home under self isolation. If your symptoms get worse daily, consider seeking medical attention immediately.
- Avoid travelling.