The Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, is one of the top headlines in almost every nightly news broadcast and the top subject in a majority of public and private conversations throughout the world. This virus attacks the respiratory system and is highly contagious. The virus was first detected in China but has now spread to much of Europe, Asia and the United States.
As we hear news stories of the continuous spread of this virus on a daily basis, it is important to understand the facts about how to best prevent it from affecting you and your family and community.
This is a new form of virus, so the facts in regards to how this virus is spread are still being discovered. Most indications are that the virus is spread between person to person in close or direct contact. It can also be spread through contact with surfaces and objects that are contaminated with the virus.
Here are some tips from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on how to best prevent the spread of any respiratory disease including the Coronavirus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Symptoms of Coronavirus appear 2 to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you exhibit any of these symptoms or have reason to believe that you have been exposed to the virus, contact your healthcare professional immediately. With the exception of seeking medical care, stay home and away from others as much as possible. Do not go to work, school or public areas.
For more information regarding symptoms, prevention and treatment of the Coronavirus and information regarding traveling away from home, visit the Center of Disease Control and Prevention's website or contact your local healthcare provider.