#MSCOVID-19: how to prevent yourself from getting COVID-19 in your own home

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What can do I to prevent myself from being infected with coronavirus if someone in my household gets COVID-19? 

This is a topic that I have not covered directly, but it is obviously very important and an oversight on my part. Apologies. 

The following advice is pretty intuitive and has been hacked from an amazing website, by the Univesity of Southampton, called Germ Defence. If you have the time can I suggest you ignore this post and go through Germ Defence’s short online programme? Although not COVID-19 specific it gives out generic and very sensible advice and only takes 10 minutes to complete. 

Image from Germ Defence, University of Southampton.

Ideally, the person who has COVID-19 should spending as much in their own space so that you are less likely to come in contact with them. This could be in their own room or a room in the house that other people should not enter. I am aware that this may not be feasible depending on your circumstances. 

It is important not to share a bed with the person who has COVID-19 or you think may have coronavirus.

Please open your windows and limit the amount of time you are in a room with the person who has COVID-19. Also, try to spend time outdoors if you can. 

If possible socially distance at home; i.e. try and keep 2 meters away from the person with COVID-19. 

Try and organise your home so that you have more space between seats. If it is possible arrange to use shared areas of your home, for example, the bathroom, at different times, so that only one person is in there at any time. 

Try and kill any viruses by frequent cleaning. It may be impossible to avoid shared areas of the home, such as kitchens and bathrooms, so keeping them clean, very clean, is important. Try and use a disinfectant to clean surfaces that the affected person may touch, e.g. taps, fridge, door handles, toilet seat, toilet handle, remote controls, computer keyboards, gaming consoles, etc. Wipe down surfaces such as tables, kitchen tops, fridge and freezer doors, seats, remote controls, keyboards, etc. 

Place bottles of disinfectant in key areas of the house so that they are quick and handy to use. 

Try to avoid sharing or touching things that other people have used, e.g. bottles, kettle, towels, fridge, taps, toothpaste, remote controls, telephone, etc., unless you know that they have been cleaned recently with disinfectant. 

It can take up to 3 days (72 hours) for the coronavirus to completely die on hard surfaces. So if there are things that you can’t clean, can you put them somewhere out of the way for 3 days before you use them. If 3 days isn’t possible, then aim for as long as possible. 

The person with COVID-19 should wear a mask. Similarly, if you need to spend time with the person who has COVID-19 then wearing a mask can stop you breathing any infectious particles that are spread through coughing and sneezing. 

Try and not touch your face, in particular your nose and mouth. This is very hard so you need to concentrate and train yourself to be aware of what your hands and fingers are doing. 

Try to limit the time you spend close to other people in the house as well. They may be incubating and shedding the virus asymptomatically. 

CoI: none

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

3 comments

  • Don’t apologise you can’t be all things to all people, pretty sure you have been working your arse off.

    I read that the virus hangs about in the air and has been found in corridors outside hospital rooms. Due to this if an infected person leaves their room to use the bathroom I thought about covering up and spraying the air between the two rooms with disinfectant, to sanitise it, but is that helpful or ridiculous?

    • The infected person should wear a mask if possible. It is still quite debatable if the virus hangs around in the air for long. I don’t think disinfecting the air will help. Using an ionizer in the room may be useful in getting aerosol particles to stick to the walls.

  • I’ve ms can I kiss my partner who works outside the home I take gilenya every day I’ve just stopped conconning but I take social distance seriously

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