A coronavirus is a type of virus with many different strains that may or may not cause disease. However, last year’s outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, now referred to as SARS-CoV-2, has caused an outbreak of respiratory illness called COVID-19. While a disease outbreak such as this can be frightening, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
How is COVID-19 Spread?
Currently, the spread of this coronavirus is being studied and monitored closely by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, and other medical centers around the world. Declared a public health emergency in January, it is still unknown how contagious the virus is, but it is believed to have originated from an animal, but may be passed from person to person.
To clarify, early studies have shown that symptoms begin appearing in the afflicted within 14 days. Common symptoms include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Respiratory Problems (i.e. Pneumonia)
- In severe cases, Kidney Failure or Death
However, if you’ve traveled to Wuhan, China and are experiencing these symptoms, contact a medical healthcare provider immediately. For everyone’s safety, be sure to call before you go, explaining your recent travels and symptoms.
How to Protect Yourself
Above all, the best way to protect yourself from contracting COVID-19 is to follow these suggestions from the CDC.
- If you’re sick, stay at home.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, for a minimum twenty seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer where soap and water aren’t available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose with unwashed hands.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
- Frequently clean and disinfect high-activity surfaces.
Myths About COVID-19
Most importantly, with all of the information available, it can be hard to decipher what is an isn’t true about this illness. Make sure you stay informed about the disease and don’t fall for common myths:
- A vaccine for COVID-19 is not currently available. Scientists are working to develop one, but creating a safe vaccine for humans can take several months.
- You cannot prevent COVID-19 with bleach, acetic acid, steroids, essential oils, salt water, ethanol or other substances. These practices can be dangerous and don’t actually prevent you from contracting the illness.
- The 2019 Novel Coronavirus was not intentionally created or released by people. Viruses adapt over time. Occasionally, an outbreak occurs when a virus commonly found in an animal evolves and passes to humans. It is highly likely that this is how this virus originated.
- People are not dying from this coronavirus in many countries. As a result, only four people from countries other than China have died.
- Ordering products from China will not get you sick. Researchers are working diligently to determine how COVID-19 is spread. New information is emerging daily, but as of now, scientists do not believe that the virus can live for long on surfaces. It is likely that the disease is spread from an infected person’s sneeze or cough.
Trust Your Medical Professionals
If you’ve recently traveled to China and are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, don’t panic. It’s important to remember that while 1,775 deaths have been caused by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, more than 11,300 people have recovered from the illness.
Overall, medical institutions from across the globe are monitoring this disease very closely and are taking steps to prevent it from spreading.
Furthermore, at Townsen Memorial, your care and comfort is our priority. Conveniently located in Humble, off of FM 1960 and Highway 59, our team of certified medical professionals are available for your emergent, clinical or hospital care. To learn more about Townsen Memorial, visit https://www.townsenmemorialhospital.com/ https://www.townsenclinic.com/.