What is the Coronavirus and basic steps you can implement to protect yourself

With the recent spread of what’s known as the Coronavirus (COVID19) and a possible pandemic on our hands, it’s just good practice to be informed and take the necessary steps to protect yourself. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the Coronavirus (COVID19) is a family of viruses known for containing strains that cause potentially deadly diseases in mammals and birds. In humans they’re typically spread via airborne droplets of fluid produced by infected individuals.

The CDC has issued a warning that the spread of the virus within the United State is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. However, this does not mean that you are helpless or without a means to be proactive with measures designed to protect yourself. Below is a list of precautions and need to know facts you can implement to help decrease your risk of being infected by the Coronavirus.

What are the symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

What should I do it symptoms appear

  • If you experience symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, immediately call your local medical facility to speak to a nurse before visiting the facility. Explain to the nurse what symptoms you are experiencing and any pertinent information that will assist the nurse i.e. recent travel. 
  • Follow directions given by the nurse via the phone consultation

How long does it take for symptoms to appear

  • Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

How does the virus spread

  • Primarily from person-to-person.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

What precautions can you take to guard yourself against infection

  • Keep your hands clean by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Stay home and away from others when sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues or your arm/sleeve. 
  • Dispose of coughed/sneezed in tissues to the nearest trash can or flush them down the toilet
  • Keep surfaces clean using disinfecting wipes

For more in depth information and resources, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html