Covid-19, a novel coronavirus, originated from the Hubei province in China. As it is new, there is little that is known about the exact spread of the disease. While that can be disconcerting, coronaviruses have been around for quite some time and therefore, it is reasonable to make reasonable assumptions, based on other coronaviruses.
It is thought the virus spreads like other respiratory viruses, by exposure to infected respiratory droplets. Alternatively, it may spread via contact with surfaces where the virus particles have landed, again via respiratory droplets. Of note, this is also how the flu and colds are commonly spread. Also, like a cold or the flu, it can occasionally spread via someone who is infected, but does not realise he or she is sick.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you develop these symptoms PLEASE DO NOT PANIC, but call your healthcare provider, your insurance company’s nurse on call, or your nearest urgent care for further guidance. Please be mindful of others and avoid exposing others needlessly (again, this includes if it is determined you have a bad cold). Do not ignore your symptoms, but do not overreact.
Like the cold or flu, there is no cure, and unlike the flu, there is no vaccine. For those who have not received your flu shot, GET VACCINATED, unless there is a medical contraindication.
Prevention is the key. Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick, and avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose. The latter can be easier said than done, but is important. If you are not feeling well, self-quarantine. Please COVER YOUR COUGH, SNEEZE, CLEARING OF THROAT, or anything that may expel respiratory droplets. Cover completely using the bend of your arm.
Clean and disinfect regularly, using a household cleaning spray or wipes.
Know how to wash your hands. Wash with soap and water, covering the hands, fingers, and under the nails, washing for 20 seconds (2 cycles of the Happy Birthday song, or the full ABC song). Know when to wash your hands, such as before eating, after using the restroom, or expelling respiratory droplets, as mentioned above, or if there is any concern a touched surface is contaminated.
Only if there is no soap and water, use hand sanitiser containing at least 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Avoid touching common area surfaces, such as elevator buttons (use your keys), door hands, hand rails, sink faucet handles (turn off using a paper towel), etc. If it is something someone else may have handled or touched, handle with a paper towel, tissue, etc, and sanitise after.
Please, Please, Please DO NOT go and hoard face masks!!! Masks are useful if someone IS sick and wears a mask to prevent others from getting sick, but IT IS NOT VERY USEFUL in effective prevention if a sick person coughs or sneezes on you, and it certainly won’t help if you touch a contaminated surface.
Find alternative methods of salutation and greetings that do not require direct contact (ie the Japanese greeting).
This is a rather disconcerting time, but good old-fashioned common sense will help keep everyone healthy.
This comes from the CDC website. For more, and up to date information, please visit the website www.cdc.gov