Pharmacist available to provide tips on staying healthy during COVID-19 pandemic

February 18, 2020

Protect yourself by practicing good hygiene and by keeping vaccinations up to date

VANCOUVER—With five cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) being reported in B.C., it’s important to remember the advice that has been recommended by our public health officials. The BC Pharmacy Association’s director of pharmacy practice support Bryce Wong has the following advice for those who want to stay healthy during this time. 

“Remember that the most important thing you can do is wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. This basic action can help prevent getting not just the new coronavirus, but more common infections going around like the cold and flu,” says Wong. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to symptoms of more common respiratory illnesses, such as fever, cough, sore throat, headache, difficulty breathing and pneumonia. While the risk to the general public continues to be declared as low in BC, here are some other tips to help you stay healthy. 

Bryce Wong, director of pharmacy practice at the BC Pharmacy Association, is available for interviews.

Tips on staying healthy

Wash your hands frequently
Coronavirus is transmitted via larger liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact with these droplets. Because it can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough it’s recommended you cough or sneeze into your arm and wash your hands with soap and water regularly.

Even if you were to somehow touch something, like a doorknob, that has droplets with coronavirus in it, washing your hands before touching your face or mouth will reduce the risk of that virus getting into your body.

Keep your vaccines up to date
Because of the unknowns surrounding COVID-19 people are highly concerned about how to protect themselves. However, in British Columbia more people are currently infected with the flu and with recent outbreaks of measles over the past few years, it’s a good a time as any to make sure your vaccinations are up to date to protect yourself from these known diseases with one of our best defences, vaccination. 

Avoid contact with people who are ill and don’t visit others when you are ill
Help stop the spread of illness, if you are feeling unwell stay at home and where possible, avoid those who are unwell. Recently, our Provincial health authorities are also asking people who have recently visited, or who have been in close contact with someone who has recently visited the Hubei province in China, to call public health officials and self-isolate for 14 days.

Consider wearing a face mask if you are sick
We’re seeing a lot of demand for face masks, but remember that while mask can help prevent transmission of illness from a sick person to others, their use is likely less effective in the community in preventing someone from getting sick.

If you are worried you have been exposed to the COVID-19, contact your primary care provider.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1. 

B.C.’s pharmacists are also accessible in the vast majority of communities across the province and are available to provide timely health-care advice and information.

For more information

Please contact:

Michael Mui
Communications Specialist
BC Pharmacy Association
(604) 269-2878