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On December 30h, 2019, China reported an outbreak of a potentially serious respiratory illness related to SARS and MERS in the province of Wuhan. Since then, it has spread to over 85 countries and has affected over 100,000 people worldwide, and still growing.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people.
How to reduce risk?
Avoiding contact with animals that can potentially be infected, and avoiding contact with people that may have been in areas exposed to the virus, avoiding travel to these areas are some of the preventive measures suggested to reduce chances of a Coronavirus infection.
The first case of coronovirus outbreak in the United States was reported on January 20th, 2010 and the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC) is monitoring the situation closely and has regular updates, travel advisory and other relevant information available here.
Frequently asked questions and answers about COVID-19
Here are some of the commonly asked questions about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19.
No. There is vaccine currently available for COVID and we might be as long as 18 months out before the scientists can come up with one.
What is the best way to prevent COVID-19?
The best way to prevent corona virus (COVID-19) infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
How long should I wash my hands?
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. For information about handwashing, see Avocat targu mures CDC’s Handwashing website
Should I use a facemask even if I do not have symptoms?
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Is there a cure for COVID-19?
There is no specific cure or antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
What should I do if I suspect COVID-19?
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Who is at increased risk of COVID-19?
- Older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. Early data suggest older people are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This may be because:
- As people age, their immune systems change, making it harder for their body to fight off diseases and infection.
- Many older adults are also more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.
How long is the COVID-19 outbreak expected to last?
If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce exposures to COVID-19. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.
What measures should I take to get ready for COVID-19 in our community?
- Have supplies on hand
- Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
- If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
- Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
- Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
What everyday precautions should I take?
- Take everyday precautions
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Take everyday preventive actions
- Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
- Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
- Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
What should I do if COVID is spreading in our community?
- If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks
- Have a plan for if you get sick:
- Consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
- Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
- Determine who can provide you with care if your caregiver gets sick
What symptoms and emergency warning signs should I watch for? =
- Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
- If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
- This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.
Locations with Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, by WHO Region