Please refer to www.nicd.ac.za for most recent version of this post before use.
You have come into contact with someone that was diagnosed with the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
The incubation period (time from infection to showing symptoms) ranges between 2 to 14 days. If you develop any symptoms in this timeframe, you will have to be tested for the virus.
Why not just test me immediately?
It takes time for the virus to multiply to a level where we can detect it with laboratory techniques.
Can’t you just give me medicine in case I do have it?
Since this is a virus, any treatment is supportive – that means the symptoms are treated, but there is no medicine to kill the virus, you need to allow your body’s immune system to kill the virus.
What should I do?
We are requesting you to self-quarantine. This means that although you do not have symptoms yet, you need to stay away from people to prevent the virus from spreading more.
But can I give the virus to someone even if I don’t feel bad?
Yes, evidence suggest that you may be able to pass the virus to someone else even before you show symptoms.
Can I go to work?
It is advised to refrain from going to work, doing so may spread the virus to colleagues. Your general practitioner can provide a sick note to be shared with your employer.
Can I go to school?
It is advised to refrain from going to school, doing so may spread the virus to other students or teachers. Your general practitioner can provide a sick note to be shared with the school.
Can I meet my friends?
It is advised to avoid social contact. Partaking in social contact may spread the virus to your family and friends.
Can I go shopping, visit a public place or use public transport?
It is advised to refrain from visiting any public place (shops, churches, entertainment areas) or using public transport, doing so may spread the virus to other people.
What am I supposed to do?
It is advised to stay at home during the monitoring period. To protect those around you:
• Clean your hands frequently, using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap
• Keep a distance from healthy individuals (not showing respiratory symptoms) as much as possible (at least 1 meter)
• Wear a medical mask as frequently possible
• Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with disposable paper tissue, or cough and sneeze into your elbow. Dispose of the material after use and clean your hands immediately with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
• Improve airflow in living spaces at home by opening windows and door as much as possible
How will I be monitored?
We will send you a link via email every day to ask you if you are experiencing any symptoms. Please click on the link and answer the questions every day, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do not have access to email or internet, someone will call you every day to ask if you are experiencing symptoms. Please ensure that you will be available to provide this information.
How long will I be monitored?
For 14 days after the last time you had contact with the person who had a confirmed infection with 2019-nCoV.
What symptoms should I be looking out for?
A measured body temperature of 38°C or more, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, myalgia or body pains, diarrhoea (passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day).
I have symptoms, should I wait for the email or call?
No, as soon as you develop symptoms, please contact the hotline immediately.
What will happen then?
Depending on which symptoms and the severity, we will collect a swab from you and test for the virus.