As we continue to hear many reports of the Coronavirus outbreak that is affecting the world, we are now hearing of the cases touching US soil. With this daunting news, it is easy to turn on the television and listen to confusing reports on what you can do to protect yourself from Coronavirus. Here are some essential facts you need to know to prevent illness.

 What is a Coronavirus?

A Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that can cause illness in humans and animals. The virus causes upper respiratory infections like the common cold and up to more severe conditions like SARS. With the unknown nature of this new virus, scientists have dubbed it the COVID-19.

COVID-19 Quick Summary

The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Since it touched down in Wuhan, China, there have been vast reports of the death toll the Coronavirus has created. The virus is mainly spread from person-to-person contact with the incubation period of 1-14 days. Therefore, social distancing is recommended to slow the spread. The cases are rapidly changing, so it is hard to pinpoint the exact numbers worldwide of COVID-19. Current knowledge suggests, most cases develop mild symptoms, with severe illness developing in 16%. Risk factors for severe complications are older age and those with underlying medical conditions at any age.

To stay up to date with the current conditions in the United States, click here.

A Note About Face Masks

This guidance is now updated as the disease rapidly develops

The CDC currently recommends all Americans wear cloth facemasks to slow the spread of the virus. Studies show asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals may transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This new revelation leads to the conclusion that the virus can be spread by merely speaking to someone nearby. Therefore, cloth masks are necessary for public areas where social distancing is not easy to maintain. Overall, facemasks are complementary to the main advice of social distancing to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

Feeling Sick?

If you feel sick, the CDC now has a self-checker to determine if you may be positive for COVID-19. Here are the recommended steps for recovering at home with this contagious virus.

  • Stay Home- Most people can recover at home. Only leave at the doctors’ recommendation for medical attention. Stay in touch with your doctor via telemedicine and know the emergency warning signs to seek in-person care.
  • Monitor your symptoms- If you have trouble breathing, pain or pressure in your chest, bluish lips or face, or new confusion, please call your doctor for emergency guidance. These are not all-inclusive emergency warnings, so monitor all changes closely with a medical professional.
  • Isolate yourself from others in your house and use a separate bathroom.
  • Have your own set of household items to use while you’re sick like cups, utensils, and blankets. Properly disinfect these items after the illness has run its course.
  • If you are feeling better, follow your doctors’ guidelines to discontinue isolation. This may include receiving two negative tests with no other symptoms for seven days. 

Create a Plan of Action

Practice non-pharmaceutical interventions
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol. Then, rub your hands until they are completely dry.
  • Cover your mouth correctly while coughing and sneezing. Sneeze or cough into your elbow and not directly into your hand. Use a tissue and throw it away immediately.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas using regular cleaning spray and wipes. Check out this list of corona virus-fighting products!
  • Stay home when you feel sick.
  • Maintain social distancing by standing 3 feet away from those who cough or sneeze.
Talk to the people you live with to create an action plan
  • Plan care for those at higher risk of developing severe symptoms.
  • Create an emergency contact list.
  • Prepare a separate area for those who may become sick in your home.
Get to know your neighbors for resources and information. Tap into specialty neighborhood targeted apps!
Locate the aid organizations in your community.
Seek medical help early if you are experiencing symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

How to Cope With the Stress

With the looming threat of a pandemic, it can cause you to feel stressed. Now more than ever, it is essential to develop coping mechanisms, so you do not fall victim to this hysteria.

  • Take care of yourself and maintain your healthy lifestyle.
  • Channel Your Stress-Check out these resources for at-home workouts!
  • Limit TV and media coverage, take time to disconnect and get fresh air.
  • Stay up to date with trusted sources like the CDC and the World Health Organization.
  • Talk out your feelings with trusted family members and friends.

 

With all of this information outlined, you should feel more confident about how to deal with this pandemic. As long as you are taking the necessary basic hygiene, precautious most people should be fine. We all need to work together to prevent the spread of any disease. For more developing information on the COVID-19, please, visit the CDC or WHO websites.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

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