Updated: Jun 22
The COVID-19 pandemic is upon us, and so it's important that we all do our part in staying healthy and safe. Education is your ally in these trying times, that's why we put together this overview of COVID-19 and what you can do to flatten the curve.
THE COVID-19 VIRUS
COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
HOW COVID-19 SPREADS
It is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). 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. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.
Research has shown that COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported - from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms that may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus: Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Or at least two of the following: Fever, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, and New loss of taste or smell. This list is not all-inclusive, though, as medical experts are still learning about it. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. If you develop any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get emergency medical attention immediately: Trouble breathing, Persistent pain or pressure in the chest, New confusion or inability to arouse, and/or Bluish lips or face.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Learn how COVID-19 spreads and practice these actions to help prevent the spread of this illness. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, everyone should: Clean your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You should also avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay at home as much as possible. If you do have to go out, put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet) and cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. Always make sure to cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Finally, make sure you clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily. For other ways to stay safe from COVID-19, we recommend you check out the CDC.gov website for the latest information.
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