What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a large class of viruses that affect humans and/or animals. Seldomly will the animal coronavirus emerge to infect and be spread among humans; although COVID-19 has suspected origins first detected in Wuhan, China. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people.
How does it spread?
The CDC reports COVID-19 is spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. As of March 2020, it has hit every inhabited continent in what has now been identified as a global pandemic.
The CDC speculates COVID-19 spreads similarly to influenza pathogens via the infected through coughing, sneezing or touching contaminated surfaces then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Should I be worried?
As of March 13, 2020 the U.S. President declared COVID-19 a national emergency.
What are the symptoms?
According to the CDC, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Coughing, fever and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
The death toll has risen to 7,426, with more than 179,112 confirmed cases worldwide as of March 17 with the U.S, accounting for 4,226 cases and 75 deaths.
What do I do if I’m sick?
Call your Doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
How can I prevent contracting COVID-19?
As of March 17, there’s no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection, so follow these everyday tips to avoid being exposed to the virus:
- Avoid direct contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
- Frequently washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more is the best way to get rid of germs from your hands. As an alternative, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Keep a safe distance from infected people.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, immediately disposing it
- The objects and surfaces that are touched often should be cleaned and disinfected. Use disposable microfiber cloths and antimicrobial products that are effective against Coronavirus.
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