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Stoma care services during the COVID-19 pandemic

09 September 2021
7 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 16

In December 2019, a new virus termed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes a disease called COVID-19 was identified (World Health Organization (WHO), 2021). The SARS-CoV-2 virus affected people from countries across the globe and in March 2020, the WHO declared a pandemic. Symptoms of COVID-19 include pyrexia, a continuous dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite and the loss of sense of smell (anosmia) and taste (ageusia) (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2021). The transmission of the virus occurs when people are in close proximity, typically within 1 metre. An infected person can spread the virus through respiratory droplets and aerosols. Thus, the virus is spread by an infected person when they cough, sneeze, speak and even breath heavily (WHO, 2020). Infection can occur when these aerosols or droplets containing the virus are inhaled or come directly into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth (WHO, 2020). Additionally, the virus can be spread if an infected person who has droplets on their hands touches a surface such as handrails or door handles and another person touches the same contaminated surfaces and then touches an entry point such as their mouth without first decontaminating their hands by washing them or using alcohol hand disinfectant. There is also evidence that the virus can be present and thus transferred in faecal matter (Marino et al, 2020). Marino et al (2020) describe that this transference risk requires additional precautions, such as the use of negative pressure rooms for certain procedures.

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