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Disaster Response During COVID-19: How To Keep Healthcare Staff Safe

A pandemic is a contagious disease that infects a large number of a state or the world’s population. They last a certain period, affecting people’s lives and welfare terribly. Some notable pandemics in history are The Black Death in the 1300s, The Russian Flu in the late 1800s, and The Spanish Flu shortly after World War I. 

The world may have experienced such breakouts before and enjoyed progress after years of innovation in research and technology. However, the latest pandemic, COVID-19 or Corona Virus, still caught its population off-guard. Not long after its first recorded cases before the end of 2019, it managed to infect and take away many lives. 

Healthcare Staff: The Front Liners Against COVID-19 

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Healthcare facilities and personnel are responsible for taking care of patient health. With that said, it’s not surprising that many looked up to them for aid during the pandemic outbreak. As the first waves of COVID-19 cases crowded structured and mobile field hospitals, clinics, and other treatment centers, healthcare staff became occupied more than ever. 

The first phase of the pandemic by 2020 is marked as a time of panic, fear, and uncertainty. Vaccines were still undergoing clinical trials, and world leaders were still planning to contain the outbreak as effectively as possible. During those trying times, they gave immediate, on-hand care to patients diagnosed with the illness, facing the danger of getting infected upon contact. 

Even though they received medical training, they’re still vulnerable to contagious infections. Many healthcare staff have also fallen prey to the disease, but they risked their lives for others when they recovered. The World Health Organization estimates that in the period between January 2020 to May 2021 alone, about 80,000 to 180,000 health workers were affected. 

How To Keep Healthcare Staff Safe From COVID-19? 

The best way to fight COVID-19, especially for healthcare staff, is by preventing it from infecting more people, including themselves. It may pose a considerable threat to someone’s life. Still, researchers were able to make reliable ways to minimize the chances of getting infected, which now applies to medical facilities and personnel. 

  1. Attending Up To Date Seminars And Training Regarding COVID And Its Management 

Awareness is one of the essential keys to combating illnesses like COVID because it allows healthcare staff to identify the strengths of the disease and how it spreads, so as its weaknesses. They may have already received proper training regarding the illness. Still, new studies unravel more information about the disease from time to time, like new variants and ways to keep them protected. 

That said, allowing healthcare staff to attend up-to-date seminars and training can come in handy. Representatives from credible healthcare organizations like WHO (World Health Organization) speak up on these programs, introducing new data and methods and demonstrating them as possible. 

  1. Wearing Face Masks 

COVID-19 is an infectious disease that someone can get when one gets close to someone with the illness. The transmission can be through airborne, saliva, mucus, and unsanitized objects. When someone speaks, breathes, sneezes, or coughs, their mouth releases droplets, more of which are too small for others to notice. If these droplets are from someone infected with COVID, they will enter the other person’s respiratory system through their nose and mouth. 

Of course, the risk of getting infected by the virus is higher if one is dealing with patients with the disease, which includes healthcare staff. To protect themselves from COVID-19, they must wear face masks, especially while working in medical facilities. According to studies, the best face mask that health workers can use while on duty is the N95 mask, which can filter big and small particles that may contain the virus. 

  1. Require Healthcare Staff To Get Vaccinated  

A vaccine is a substance that allows the body to generate antibodies, enhancing one’s immune system against different types of diseases. It may not guarantee a person’s invulnerability against an illness. Still, aside from increasing the chances of not getting the disease, it can also lessen the severity of the virus in case someone gets infected. 

Vaccination, especially for healthcare workers, is the most ideal, as they serve as front liners against COVID. Some types of vaccines to choose from are the following: 

  • Messenger RNA Vaccine: Usage of genetically engineered mRNA (ribonucleic acid) to instruct cells on making S proteins visible on the COVID virus surface. Then, cells create S protein pieces observable on the cell body, prompting the human body to develop antibodies to fight the virus. Vaccines like Moderna use mRNA. 
  • Protein Subunit Vaccine: Usage of the parts of the COVID-19 virus that are harmless to the human body. They contain S proteins that enable the immune system to create antibodies and white blood cells against the virus. Novavax is an example of a protein subunit vaccine. 
     

COVID-19 symptoms vary for each individual. Some may show signs, while others don’t. Nonetheless, the sooner one knows they’re infected with the virus, the better because it can prevent further complications and enable treatment as soon as possible. It can also avert others from getting the disease because healthcare institutions and the authorities will require someone with the virus to stay in isolation for more than a week. Taking clinical tests is the best option to do so. 

  1. Encourage PCR Tests 

Given their exposure to patients diagnosed with COVID-19, healthcare staff must take clinical testing to ensure they’re not infected. There are two (2) types of tests for COVID-19 Rapid and PCR tests. A Rapid test may be convenient when it comes to time because one can get a result after a short period. Still, PCR tests are more reliable because the sample obtained from a person is checked in a laboratory, which may take more time but yields a more accurate diagnosis.  

Conclusion 

There’s no medication invented yet that can fight off against COVID-19 virus. As it may be, getting enough rest, drinking a lot of fluids, and eating nutritious food can help someone diagnosed with the illness to recover. Nonetheless, prevention and awareness of the virus is the best option to keep a person safe, especially the healthcare staff responsible for caring for patients. 

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