CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19)
BE PREPARED NOT SCARED
What is the CORONAVIRUS? It is a large family of viruses that are common in humans and different species of animals. The COVID-19 is thought to have started in an atmosphere where animal to human transmission had occurred. Currently, COVID-19 is spreading person-to person with limited cases here in the United States. We are currently in an active Flu season and COVID-19 is a similar virus.
Symptoms of COVID-19: Most infected patients are presenting with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. If you are ill and present with these symptoms it is recommended to call your doctor.
What can I do to limit my risk of infection? First and most importantly, is to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep a personal distance of at least 6 feet. Avoid touching your face and eyes. Routinely perform cleaning activities at home or work areas and sanitize frequently touched surfaces. Ensure family members are familiar with good personal hygiene practices such as covering your mouth when coughing.
What should I do now to prepare for a local outbreak of the CORONAVIRUS? Think ahead for what might be needed by your family or a loved one that lives alone. What do you and your family need should you become sick and need to stay at home for 2 weeks. Do you have enough non-perishable food? Do you have enough medication? Can you separate yourself from other family members and pets if you become ill? Do you have someone to call if you need assistance if you live alone? Would it be best for you to leave an infected area if you are not sick? All good things to think about a prepare for.
What should I do if I or a family member become sick? Just as you should with the Flu or a cold, STAY HOME! If you live alone, inform a loved one you are sick and may need some assistance. Call your doctor and inquire as to next steps. They may want to know additional information before you show up to their office and potentially make others sick. If you need to go out, wear a medical mask to prevent infecting someone else. Most importantly, don’t panic! The yearly flu is much more severe than the CORONAVIRUS currently is.
Where do I go for updated factual information on the CORONAVIRUS? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is the best website for current information that is fact driven. Their website can be found at https://www.cdc.gov .