The deadly outbreak of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) is a global health crisis with a massive impact on our society and on our daily lives. It’s an epidemic that has taken the news by storm and has the world on edge in more ways than one. Here’s all the information you need to help you have a more objective perspective and to help you deal with this crisis better.
With the number of cases multiplying by the hour, the measures to prevent the widespread of this disease are only intensifying. Airlines are cancelling international flights, corporations are closing buildings, the global economy is trembling, and not to mention panic buying have left store shelves bare. We are all experiencing the symptoms, even though we may not be infected.
So, should we be anxious and lose our peace of mind? What’s more important is to be equipped with the facts and understand how the virus spreads and the measures you can take to prevent it.
What is Coronavirus?
The first thing to know is that we are not just talking about one virus. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a broad array of zoonotic illnesses, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. There are several known coronaviruses that have been circulating amongst animals that have not yet infected humans. Therefore, they are largely unknown to most of us.
The current outbreak however, changed all of that. This strain is one of the first ones to affect not just animals, but humans as well. Since it was first reported, it was baptized by the medical community as COVID-19. Most cases of COVID-19 are considered mild. The symptoms are very similar to the common flu; fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some patients have other symptoms including muscle aches, headache, sore throat, and diarrhea. Based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of other coronaviruses, CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.
How does it spread?
COVID-19 is very similar to influenza and other respiratory diseases. It is spread from person-to-person as the virus spreads through droplets produced while sneezing or coughing. You can also get infected by eating or drinking food that has been contaminated by these droplets.
Take into consideration that COVID-19 can affect any individual. Regardless of age, race, or ethnic background. Let’s help stop the unfounded myth that Asians are more likely to carry the disease. Also, those that have been released from quarantine are no longer a health risk for the community.
Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. Nonetheless, simple preventive actions can minimize the prevention of any respiratory diseases. Most of them are common practices and are easy to follow.
– Avoid close contact with people who are or look sick.
– Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands until and unless they are 100% clean.
– If you are sick, stay home and catch-up on your favorite Netflix series.
– Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough with a tissue and quickly throw it in the trash.
– Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces including the grocery packaging, cans, etc. Be sure to wash your hands before and after unpacking your groceries.
– Face masks are not recommended for individuals that are well. They should be worn by people who have visible symptoms or health workers that are in close proximity to those that are sick.
– Last but not the least, follow moms’ wise piece of advice: “wash your hands thoroughly” or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
If you feel you are infected, make sure you contact your local hospital or medical facility. Give them all the information they need to diagnose your condition correctly. Tell them about your recent travels and any other clues that can help them understand if you pose a health risk.
The best thing to do if you do not have any symptoms is not to get carried away by the media hype. Make sure you do your research and educate yourself with facts, not myths.
One thing is for sure; coronavirus definitely has a profound effect on our everyday routines. Check for changes that affect your work or travel plans. Monitor your finances and your investments. Always remember that this situation is similar to the Swine Flu, Ebola, and SARS outbreaks. It will eventually peak and then fade away. COVID-19 is a real and tangible threat, but with the right information, we can make better decisions for the well-being of our loved ones. Remember, early prevention is key.