By now, everyone has heard about the coronavirus and the unfortunate amount of deaths that have resulted from it. However, this seems to be the only thing that people are focusing on rather than looking at the full picture. To understand the steps we need to take to help protect ourselves, we need to know all of the facts. Note that I am not a medical professional, just someone who wants to help. The following information is going to be gathered from the Center for Disease Control, and Prevention and the World Health Organization (both will be linked at the end).
First, we need to know that the symptoms align with several other common illnesses. The common ones are cough, fever, and shortness of breath. People who have COVID-19 may mistake the symptoms for a respiratory infection like pneumonia. In the event that you feel these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. COVID-19 has a 14-day incubation period, and you may not know you have it at first. You may not have the virus, but you need to be tested to keep the statistics accurate.
Another important thing to note is the recovery rate of people infected and who's at a higher risk. Currently (3/13/2020), the United States is reporting 2,269 total cases and 48 total deaths. This is a 2.115% death rate in our country. What often isn't seen is that most of the people who have serious cases that may lead to death are those with compromised immune systems and people age 80 or older.
All of that being said, prevention is key. The most important thing you can do right now is to wash your hands frequently and diligently. Clean hands are your first defense against ANY illness. Also, refrain from touching your face as much as possible. Your eyes, nose, mouth, and skin are straight pathways for bacteria and viruses to enter your body. Social distancing is a practice we all need to adopt. Try to remain six-to nine-feet away from other people whenever possible. Wearing a mask will not protect you and may even make matters worse UNLESS you are immunocompromised. Stay home if you feel sick, and always cough and sneeze into your elbow to slow the spread of whatever sickness you may or may not have.
Please also do your best to remain calm, but aware. With the announcement of COVID-19 becoming a pandemic ("an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population") come school closings, event cancellations and suspensions, we need to be active learners and stay updated on current information as it arises. Do your best to avoid news outlets for information such as CNN, Fox News, and others of this sort. Your best bet for accurate information is the CDC, WHO, Department of Public Health, and Mayo Clinic (these will all be linked below). As a former healthcare student, I urge you to use your resources and be educated as a measure to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Take care and stay healthy.
For more information, visit:
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- 6 Facts About The Coronavirus, From Someone In The Medical ... ›