The coronavirus is a new respiratory virus discovered first in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. It spreads from one person to another at a rapid pace and the number of diagnoses is growing on a daily basis. While 95% of coronavirus cases are in China, the virus has spread throughout 25 countries. It has become the top news story that everyone is talking about. And while it is important to stay informed, it is essential that we all know the facts about what the coronavirus is and how to prevent it.
What are the Symptoms of the Coronavirus?
The current list of symptoms reported for patients with the coronavirus includes mild to severe cough, difficulty breathing, and fever. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) believes that symptoms may appear between 2 to 14 days following exposure. Anyone who visited China within the past two weeks and develops symptoms should contact their doctor. Or they may visit the nearest emergency room immediately for testing.
How to Protect Yourself From the Coronavirus
Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent coronavirus. So, the best way to keep you and your family safe is to take the proper precautions to prevent exposure to the harmful respiratory virus. Here are a few recommendations from the CDC that can help prevent the spread of this and other respiratory viruses.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You should wash your hands especially before you eat, after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing, and after using the restroom.
- If you do not have soap and water available to you, keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you at all times. The sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. If your hands are visibly dirty, you should always wash them using soap and water instead.
- Do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands.
- When you cover your sneeze or cough using a tissue, be sure to dispose of the tissue.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched items around the home or office
- Avoid any close contact with anyone who is sick
- Stay home when you are sick
Who Should Be Concerned about the Coronavirus?
Although the coronavirus has not spread to all US States, it is rapidly spreading. Therefore we should all be concerned enough to learn more about the virus and how to prevent it.
However, if you develop a fever, and begin to show symptoms of a respiratory illness like shortness of breath or cough within 2 weeks after visiting China, you should make a call to your primary care physician and mention your recent travels or any close contact you’ve had with someone who visited the area. Alternatively, anyone who is showing signs or symptoms of the virus should be checked out by a medical professional if they have any concerns. Your healthcare provider will be able to work along with the CDC and your local health department to determine if you should be tested for the coronavirus.
What To Do if You Believe You May Have the Coronavirus
The coronavirus is a rapidly growing health situation and the risk assessment for this respiratory virus is changing constantly. To stay up to date on the latest news about the coronavirus, you should visit the CDC’s website for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
If you are showing any signs or symptoms of the coronavirus, do not hesitate to be seen by a medical professional. Due to the severity of this condition, it is highly recommended that anyone who believes they may be infected go to their nearest emergency room as soon as possible. There they can be tested and receive the optimal amount of treatment.