COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease 2019: How to Stay Safe

March 20, 2020

The media whirlwind concerning the current outbreak of COVID-19 has been nothing short of overwhelming. With social media giving us constant updates on the latest statistics, it has left people feeling overwhelmed and distraught about the possibility that they may contract the virus. It’s recommended for the American public to practice good hygiene and minimal contact to shield themselves from this disease as well as protecting those who are at the highest risk of contracting it.

Symptoms:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Contact a doctor if recent travel in regions where COVID-19 is prevalent.

Contagion:

COVID-19 is spread person-to-person, which means that people who are in close contact with each other, within six feet, are at higher risk. The way this disease spreads is through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected individual sneezes or coughs. These droplets can be inhaled by other people or land on surfaces where the virus can thrive for hours or even days and come into contact with others. Risk is increased when people touch these infected or objects and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.

While asymptomatic people may still spread the disease, those who are most symptomatic are the most contagious. Information about high-risk groups is linked below:

High-Risk Groups include:

Prevention:

The virus is new and under investigation, so there is no current vaccine to prevent COVID-19, though there is a vaccine in testing now. The best way to prevent contraction is to avoid being exposed to it. There are also practical ways to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, which include:

  • Avoiding close quarters with those who show symptoms
  • Not touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Staying home when feeling sick or feverish
  • Covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Disinfecting surfaces in the home or workspace regularly
  • Washing hands often and thoroughly for more than 20 seconds with soap
  • Wearing a facemask if you are potentially infected with COVID-19

Treatment:

At the moment, there is no antiviral treatment for the virus. There are ways to alleviate symptoms and some supportive respiratory treatments for those who are heavily infected. Those who think they may have contracted the virus should separate themselves from others and seek medical assistance by calling their doctor immediately. For medical advice per the Centers for Disease control and Prevention, visit: CDC.gov/coronavirus.

Stay up to date on the latest information about the virus in order to prevent contracting or spreading COVID-19 within regions and communities such as student dormitories, public health workers, law enforcement, childcare, and homeworkers. The best step towards preventing the spread of this virus is vigilant prevention and awareness.

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