Stories about the coronavirus have been all over the news recently, and citizens from across the globe are concerned about its outbreak. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, China. Since then, there have been thousands of cases confirmed in Wuhan, international locations, and U.S. cities in Illinois, California, Arizona, and Washington. The facts are now coming in, including ways to avoid its spread. Anyone who is contact with large numbers of people, whether it be in shopping malls, movie theaters, airports, and at work, should take these precautions to put their safety first.
Coronaviruses include a large group of respiratory viruses commonly found in animals, such as cattle and cats. In rare situations, they infect people and then spread. In the past, this has happened with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. They spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs. For now, it is unclear if the current Coronavirus can be transmitted by touching infected surfaces.
It is also uncertain when people who have the Coronavirus are the most contagious, and investigations are underway about its severity, how contagious it is, and other features. For now, the virus-like symptoms include coughing, fever, and a shortness of breath; some patients experience little to no symptoms, while others become extremely ill or pass away.
Since there is no vaccine, it is essential to reduce exposure and prevent infection. If people at work seem ill, close contact with them should be avoided. Covering coughs and sneezes with tissues is also helpful, and any touching of the nose, eyes, and mouth with unwashed hands should also be avoided. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should stay home.
Frequent hand washing is always a good idea, and doing it the right way is essential. It should be done for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If using a hand sanitizer, it should have at least 60 percent of alcohol in it. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects can also help, and drinking glasses, towels, computer keyboards, office equipment, and other items should not be shared.
The Coronavirus can be life-threatening, so it is essential to seek proper medical care immediately. Contacting the doctor’s office beforehand will give them the opportunity to prepare for the visit. Contact with other people should be avoided, unless they are medical personnel who are aware of the situation.
Infected people can follow regular protocol for avoiding the spread of viruses, such as frequent hand washing and covering the mouth when coughing and sneezing. Wearing a facemask is also a good idea, and others who share the same space with the infected person can wear them too. Pets should not be handled, but if there is no choice, a facemask should be worn.
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