June 5, 2020

COVID-19, what is it?

The Coronavirus can be scary with lockdowns occurring, people quarantining themselves and words like death and infection becoming all too common. In these trying times, the best way to stay protected is to arm yourself with knowledge about what the Coronavirus is and how to prevent yourself and others from getting it.

The novel coronavirus is also known as COVID-19 is a new strain of viruses in the coronavirus groups. The coronavirus group includes some virus strains that cause some cases of the common cold as well as some lethal strains that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) as well as the current COVID-19. This new strain COVID19 is not like other strains of the coronavirus. “Coronaviruses are a large and very common family of viruses. A new strain of the virus—called a novel coronavirus—was identified in December in Wuhan, China. According to the CDC, symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, that can range from mild to severe,” stated Megan Reed, the Director of Integrated Digital Marketing at NCC.

The main way the virus spreads is from person to person contact generally by being within six feet of an infected person and being in contact with respiratory droplets produced by a sneeze or cough. Another, less common way, to contract COVID-19, is by touching surfaces that have the virus on them and then touching your face.

It is also important to note that before symptoms start an infected individual can still spread the virus to others.

According to the CDC, symptoms appear sometime between 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. These can range from mild to severe and life-threatening and include symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, pain in the chest, and confusion. If you or anyone you know has these symptoms, they should schedule a time to get tested and take precautions to protect themselves and others. If you or anyone you know have symptoms and need to be tested call your state or local medical department or your medical provider. Supplies for this are still increasing but as of right now it may be hard to get tested.

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 and no set treatment, meaning the best way to combat the virus is preventative measures. The CDC recommends cleaning your hands often by washing them for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with the others and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

“Use good hand hygiene, wash hands with soap and water (warm or cold), or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol,” said Reed. “To limit the spread of germs and illness Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow. Avoid sharing food, drinks, utensils, cups, vapes/JUULs, etc.”

Everyone is at risk with COVID-19, taking these steps also protects more at-risk individuals like the elderly, children and people with underlying health issues.

By following these steps and staying informed most individuals should be able to stay safe. While this is all unfolding it’s important to listen to professionals in the field. For more info on COVID19 go to the CDC’s website at https:// www.cdc.gov/coronavi – rus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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