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Avira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag India

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Avira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag IndiaAvira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag IndiaPosted: 11 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDTEvery computer needs antivirus protection, and one way companies can support that aim is to provide free antivirus to the masses. But these companies can't survive unless some users shell out their hard-earned cash for paid antivirus utilities. Piling on pro-only tools and components is one way companies encourage upgrading to a paid antivirus. Avira Antivirus Pro adds several components not available to users of Avira Free Security, but they don't really add much value. The biggest reason to pay for it is if you want to use Avira in a commercial setting, which isn't allowed with the free version.Avira's pricing is undeniably on the high side, with a list price of $59.88 per year for one license, $71.88 for three, and $95.88 for five. Admittedly, it seems to be perpetually on sale; just now, the one-license price is discounted to $44.99. That…

Coronavirus: how you can protect yourself and others – Which? News - Which?

Coronavirus: how you can protect yourself and others – Which? News - Which?


Coronavirus: how you can protect yourself and others – Which? News - Which?

Posted: 17 Mar 2020 06:34 AM PDT

Last updated: 24 March 2020

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we've rounded up the key information you need to know to help protect yourself and others.

Here we explain what you can do to protect against infection, which products are unlikely to help and what you should do if you develop symptoms.


Latest updates:

  • The government has now announced a stricter UK 'lockdown'. This mean that you are only allowed to leave the house to exercise alone (once a day), to buy food or medicine, and to work if essential.
  • When out you should aim to social distance at all times (stay two metres away from other people) and you should wash your hands as soon as you get home.
  • Anyone with a cough or fever should completely self-isolate at home for seven days (not even going out for food or medicine), and the rest of the household should also self-isolate for 14 days.

Coronavirus travel advice – find out what to do if you've just come back from holiday, had a holiday cut short, or have holiday planned

Coronavirus latest – get straight to the latest news and advice from our money, travel and health experts


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the name of the illness caused by a type of coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. It's part of the same virus family as the common cold and more serious diseases such as SARS.

The main symptoms are fever, followed by a dry cough, which may then develop into shortness of breath.

Loss of smell and taste may also be markers of infection from COVID-19.

In most cases, symptoms are mild. This is one of the reasons the disease may have been able to spread so quickly and why it has proven difficult to contain.

Even people who are totally asymptomatic can still be contagious for a period of time. That's why it's important for everyone to be diligent with social distancing and hand hygiene.

Coronavirus vs cold and flu: recognising symptoms

The novel coronavirus shares some overlapping symptoms with the common cold and seasonal flu.

Symptoms vary person to person, so it can be difficult to distinguish between this new respiratory disease and the ones we are more familiar with.

It's important to self-isolate for seven days if you exhibit symptoms of cold, flu or COVID-19.

It's particularly tough to distinguish between a mild case of COVID-19 and a more severe cold. But here are some key markers of each to help give you an idea:

Cold: symptoms usually come on gradually, affects mainly your nose and throat, makes you feel unwell but not severely exhausted.

Flu: appears more quickly and affects more than just your nose and throat (commonly high fever, aches and pains, more severe exhaustion).

COVID-19: fever and a dry cough are the most common / notable symptoms, appearing in 88% and 68% of cases respectively according to WHO data on confirmed cases, followed by sputum production, and shortness of breath.

What is a persistent or continuous cough?

The cough associated with coronavirus will be newly developed, and continuous – ie you start coughing repeatedly, and you may not have any respite from the cough during the day.

What can you do to help protect against coronavirus?

It's not yet known exactly how the novel coronavirus spreads or how long it can live outside the body on surfaces.

Similar viruses are spread via cough and sneeze droplets but don't last a long time outside the body. Therefore, the best advice is to be vigilant about hygiene as you would with a normal cold or flu, and avoid other people if you are feeling unwell.

There are many products out there that claim to kill 'germs', but these aren't always strictly necessary or indeed effective with viruses.

Practice good hygiene

This is the most important, basic advice you can follow. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that you:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or if you don't have access to this use hand sanitiser gel.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if your hands touch an infected surface this could transfer it into your body.
  • Don't get too close to people coughing, sneezing, or with a fever. The NHS says ideally keep two metres away.

In addition, if you are feeling unwell:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing – ideally with a tissue – and wash your hands afterwards to prevent the virus spreading. If caught short, use your elbow rather than your hands.
  • Throw used tissues away promptly.

It's a good idea to wash your hands after commuting or visiting busy public spaces, as germs may be present on shared surfaces on buses and trains, and at stations.

You can find more advice and frequently asked questions on the WHO coronavirus public advice page.

Hygiene around the home and at work

To clean effectively in your home or around you at work, concentrate on the 'superhighways' that spread pathogens. So your hands, the surfaces you regularly touch (especially food prep areas, and keyboards or computer mice) and anything that could spread bacteria, such as kitchen cloths or sponges.

When cleaning your house, pay particular attention to the kitchen and toilet. Also, make sure you dry worktops and chopping boards after cleaning: dampness helps bacteria survive and multiply. Be sure to wash your hands before food prep.


Worried about germs at home? Find out more about home hygiene


Is it worth buying things like hand sanitiser gel, surgical masks and 'immune defence' vitamins?

Products such as hand sanitiser gel and surgical masks are selling out worldwide due to fears over coronavirus, but do you really need them?

We run through some of the popular options and whether they are actually worth tracking down or not.

Antibacterial products

We've found that many products with antibacterial claims aren't necessarily better than old-fashioned soap and water. For example, as long as you're washing your hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) you don't really need to buy a hand soap with specific antibacterial claims.

Many products that are marketed as antibacterial will have no impact against common viruses such as norovirus or the common cold, and so may have limited effectiveness against this coronavirus.

Hand sanitiser gel

Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is the best option. However, the WHO does say that antibacterial hand gel can help kill viruses, and it can be a convenient option when you're on the go.

You might be hard-pushed to find any at the moment though, as it's in high demand and is either out of stock or low in stock at most major high street retailers.

We checked major retailers, including Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Wilko and Waitrose, and found that most had sold out online and across many stores. Boots has now put a limit on the amount that one customer can buy at a time, and other stores are following suit.

On Amazon, reports of price-gouging prompted the company to remove 'tens of thousands' of overpriced products from its site – but we've still spotted some examples, including multipacks of Carex hand sanitizer for about 10 times the normal price.

How to find hand sanitiser

Your best bet is to ask your local stores when they restock, and try and be there when they do, or check round the big supermarkets and pharmacy brands to see if you can order some online or click and collect.

If you can't find any hand sanitiser, don't panic, and don't pay over-inflated amounts for it online, particularly from unknown retailers on sites like Amazon and eBay. Aim instead to stick to the advice above about not touching your face and wash your hands regularly.

It's not recommended to try and make your own hand sanitiser, as it's hard to be sure you have the correct concentration of alcohol to be effective, and adding too much could irritate your hands.

How to use hand sanitiser properly

If you are using hand sanitiser, do it correctly:

  • Your hands should not be visibly dirty, this renders the gel less effective
  • Hands need to be dry for the gel to work properly
  • Hand gels need at least 60% alcohol content to be most effective
  • Cover the entirety of both hands with the gel and rub until dry

Regularly applying hand sanitiser is likely to dry out your hands, so make sure you also carry a good hand moisturiser with you.

Antibacterial wipes

A shortage of hand sanitiser gels may prompt you to reach for antibacterial wipes, but these may not be very effective if their ethanol content is not high enough, which is the case for many brands.

A study from Northumbria University in 2018 found that antibacterial surface wipes may be a waste of money as bugs can grow back on surfaces within 20 minutes. Again, the conclusion was that good old-fashioned soap and water was the most effective way to break down the cell walls of harmful bacteria and virus membranes.

Surgical masks

Surgical masks may have some effectiveness in blocking liquid droplets, but they don't block smaller airborne particles that can still spread illness. If you are coughing or sneezing, it is better to avoid public places.

The NHS says that while masks are very important in hospital settings (or if you are looking after someone who is unwell), there is limited evidence that they're of widespread benefit to the general public.

In a preventative sense, they may help as a reminder not to touch your mouth, but are only effective if coupled with frequent hand washing.

Some suggest they can actually make it more likely you touch your face as you adjust the mask, though. If you do decide to use one, check WHO advice on using a mask properly.

Bear in mind that some senior health professionals are calling on the public not to buy surgical masks as this creates a shortage for front-line health workers where there is a legitimate need for their use.

Nasal defence sprays

Products like Vicks First Defence nasal spray claim to trap and neutralise viruses in the nose before they have a chance to develop and spread.

Currently the jury is out on their effectiveness, and evidence is still limited, but it's possible they could act as a prophylactic for a short period of time – on a flight, for example.

Specialised 'immune defence' vitamins

Some stores are touting specialised 'Immune Defence' vitamins as a way to protect yourself against illness.

A lot of these vitamin products will be similar to a regular multivitamin or probiotics, which we've found to have limited evidence behind them in building disease immunity. Targeted vitamins and supplements are usually more expensive too.

There is some evidence that vitamin C can help against the common cold if taken before symptoms present, but there is no evidence that it has an impact against COVID-19.

Indeed, there is currently no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus, so treat any such claims with scepticism.

If you're concerned, the best defense is to aim to maintain a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables, get enough sleep, exercise and try to avoid stress or watching too much news coverage about coronavirus that could make you anxious.

Developing coronavirus symptoms: what to do

If you develop symptoms similar to those listed above, particularly after having travelled to a heavily affected area, head to the official NHS coronavirus advice page to find out what you should do.

This is constantly being updated and gives the latest health advice, answering common questions and concerns.

Currently, the NHS says not to visit your GP or pharmacy if you have symptoms and instead stay at home for seven days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in your household got symptoms.

If someone else develops symptoms in this time, they should then stay home for seven days from the time they first got symptoms, even if this means they end up staying home longer than 14 days.

Coronavirus testing

The government is no longer asking people to report milder COVID-19 symptoms and get tested. Only patients who meet suitable criteria and are in hospital will be tested.

Experts warn against using Ibuprofen and anti-inflammatory painkillers

Medical professionals have warned that common anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen, naproxen and voltarol may not be suitable for use if you are trying to treat the fever associated with COVID-19.

While there is currently no evidence that taking ibuprofen makes the symptoms of novel Coronavirus worse (and stories circulating around social media to this effect are false), there is some evidence that ibuprofen can contribute to complications from other respiratory infections.

A pharmacist we spoke to told us: 'The body's immune response to virus attack is an inflammatory process which this class of drug inhibits. Paracetamol has no anti-inflammatory action, yet reduces pain and raised temperature. In my practice paracetamol is always first choice recommendation in these circumstances.'

The NHS recommends drinking plenty of fluids and using paracetamol to calm a fever.

What if your symptoms don't improve after seven days?

If you begin to feel very unwell during the seven days, use the NHS 111 COVID-19 emergency online service to find out what to do next. If you cannot use this service, then call NHS 111 instead.

If you still have a fever after seven days, the NHS advises staying home until you no longer have a fever and contacting NHS 111.

If your fever has improved but you still have a cough, it says you don't need to continue staying at home, as these can persist after an infection.

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