With the soaring number of positive coronavirus cases, it’s best to make sure everyone is properly informed about the pandemic. It is crucial to not let panic become the best of you, analyze the situation with a calm mind and take the correct precautions. Here are some tips on what precautions to take on how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) for detailed information about the disease.
How does the coronavirus spreads?
The coronavirus is a new disease and the authorities are still learning about how it spreads and the severity of illness it causes. The CDC has identified the following possible means on how the coronavirus spreads.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Maintaining good social distance (about 6 feet) is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus. CDC recommends people practice frequent “hand hygiene,” which is either washing hands with soap or water or using an alcohol-based hand rub. CDC also recommends routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
How easily the virus spreads
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people.
Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggest that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.
How to Prevent the Coronavirus Spread?
The CDC recommends the following guidelines in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Stay home as much as possible.
Put distance between yourself and other people.
Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover coughs and sneezes
If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.