Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Corona Virus Update

So here is my update to my previous post about the new corona virus that started in China...

Credit: NIAID-RML

What is COVID-19?
That is the new name given to the new strain of corona virus that was first discovered in Wuhan, China.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
  • most common symptoms
    • fever
    • fatigue
    • dry cough
  • other symptoms
    • aches and pains
    • nasal congestion
    • runny nose
    • sore throat
    • diarrhea
Is it serious?
  • usually starts with mild symptoms and 80% of folks who are infected will recover like getting the flu or bad cold
  • 1 out of 6 folks may get very sick and develop difficulty breathing (usually folks who already have chronic conditions and weakened immune systems)
  • 2% of those infected have died so far
How widespread is it?  click here for latest map and update from NY Times
  • at least 71 countries are affected so far
  • 116 cases in the US with 9 deaths so far
How do I catch it?
  • from droplets of someone who is infected expelled on cough or exhale
    • if you touch a surface that has the droplets on it
    • if you breathe in the droplets after someone coughs or exhales
  • no studies yet suggest that you can catch it just from the air
  • very low risk of catching it from someone who is not sick
    • however symptoms are mild in the beginning and person may not know they are infected until their symptoms are more severe
  • symptoms may not show up until up to 14 days after exposure
How can I prevent getting it?
  • regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water
  • maintain at least 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth
  • make sure you and the people around you follow good respiratory hygiene
    • cover your cough/sneeze with bent elbow
    • throw away used tissues immediately
  • stay home if you feel unwell
  • call your doctor if you have fever, cough, difficulty breathing
  • follow instructions from local health authority
** these are great guidelines everyday anyway and should be practiced ALL the time to prevent the common cold, flu, pneumonia, sinusitis, and GI bugs, etc!

Who benefits from wearing a face mask?
  • those who have symptoms have COVID-19
  • those caring for folks who have symptoms of COVID-19
  • health care workers caring for individuals with fever and cough
**if you do not have symptoms or caring for anyone with symptoms, it is not recommended to wear a mask

For more detailed explanations and Q&A's on this topic you can read it here on the WHO website.

So what is the bottom line?
  • do not panic
  • stay up to date on the latest recommendations from reputable sources
  • use common sense
  • there is a growing list of countries that have travel restrictions... but stay up to date and consider whether non-essential travel is worth the risk, click here to check the cdc website for travel advice for your destination (remember - this may change in a day)
  • if you get sick and are not sure what to do, call your doctor

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