Coronavirus is the topic on everyone’s minds, and for good reason. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause everything from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS and SARS. The current coronavirus is named COVID-19, and was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It has since moved to other parts of Asia, Europe, the Middle East and has made its way to the United States. Studies are currently being conducted to discover the origin of this strain of coronavirus.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 appear within 14 days of exposure. The symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
Most cases of COVID-19 are mild and those diagnosed make a full recovery. In extremely rare cases, COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure or death. The chances of more extreme reaction to COVID-19 tends to appear in those with compromised immune systems and among the elderly.
Ways to Stay Safe
Now that we understand what COVID-19 is, how can we protect ourselves? Here are some tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19.
- Keep your hands clean. Regular hand washing is the most important protection against contracting coronavirus. Wet your hands with clean running water and use soap. Lather for at least 20 seconds. Dry with a clean towel or let them air dry. Keep a container of hand sanitizer close by, but make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch surfaces and deposit viruses. If you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth without washing your hands, your chances of contracting a virus are higher.
- Keep distance from ill people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you stay at least six feet away from anyone exhibiting flu or cold-like symptoms. This will protect you from droplets released through a cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you are ill. If you are experiencing any symptoms yourself, stay home and away from others.
- Stock up on supplies. Stock a 30-day supply of prescriptions and household items such as laundry detergent or baby items. Have cold medicines and pain reliever on hand as well.
- Clean your stuff. Use an alcohol-based disinfectant to clean all hard surfaces in your home, including cell phones and other electronic devices.
- Seek medical care. If you develop a fever or cough, or have difficulty breathing, seek medical treatment and discuss with your doctor if you have traveled to a region where COVID-19 is present.
The most important thing to remember about COVID-19 is that you can protect yourself. The rise in news and social media reports can cause stress, and they can spread fear rapidly. By practicing the above steps and remaining vigilant in precautions, you can avoid this virus and protect your family as well. Make sure to follow a credible source, such as the World Health Organization, to provide you with the most accurate information concerning this virus.
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