Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a part of a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to MERS and SARS.
Symptoms and diagnosis of coronavirus
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. If you experience these symptoms, there are several steps to follow:
- Stay home unless it is to get medical care.
- Restrict access to other people and your animals.
- Wear a facemask.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Call your healthcare provider.
When you call your healthcare provider, let them know if you have been in areas with persons known to have the virus and of any recent travel especially to areas with confirmed cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) has a map of countries with a confirmed case of coronavirus.
There is currently not a known vaccine for COVID-19, but there are several everyday preventative actions you can take to avoid the spread of disease.
Follow the 6 tips below from the WHO to protect yourself from COVID-19.
- Maintain a distance of at least three feet between people
- Avoid touching your face.
- Use a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of tissue in the trash afterward.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom, eating, blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing.
- If a handwashing station isn’t readily available use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces by using a household cleaning spray or wipe.
The disease is thought to spread from person-to-person contact. Touching surfaces that have been used by those with the disease is not considered to be the main way the virus spreads, but health experts are still investigating this disease and how it spreads.
The best known preventive action is to not be in contact with someone who has the disease.
To stay up-to-date on this disease, continue to monitor the CDC website and the WHO websites. These sites will have updated information on travel, what to do if you get the coronavirus and best practices for prevention.
You should also check with your company’s Human Resources department to see if they have any updated guidelines or procedures in dealing with the coronavirus especially if you plan on traveling out of the country.