A slew of terms has been introduced in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak. Let’s go from A to Z with new people and terms to help you understand the unfolding situation.
- Jerome Adams is the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. He served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner before being sworn in as the Surgeon General in 2017. His role is to advance the health of the American people and he has been instrumental in COVID-19 response.
- The United States has issued a travel ban from Europe to the United States as of March 16th and most companies have grounded all non-essential travel domestically and internationally for the next several weeks.
- COVID-19 or coronavirus is a virus in the same family as the common cold and flu. It has turned into a pandemic and has been compared to the 1918 Spanish Flu. The 19 is in reference to the year it was discovered
- The Diamond Princess Cruise ship was for COVID-19. Passengers were quarantined on the ship and left to their rooms and many health officials have criticized the decision saying that it allowed the virus to rapidly spread. Passengers and crew were eventually allowed to leave the ship after a month total on board and nearly two weeks after reports of the first case.
- Epidemiology is the study of infectious diseases and how they spread, occur, and are controlled.
Flattening the Curve
- The term refers to reducing the exponential growth of an infectious disease if people start distancing themselves from other people. Reducing gatherings with people through quarantining and other social distancing practices can drastically reduce the number of cases. The practice is especially important in alleviating the burden on hospitals.
Source: Britta Jewel/MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis/New York Times
- Late Sunday on March 15th, multiple governors and health officials called for social gatherings to be limited to 50 people or less. President Trump has asked for people to limit social gatherings to 10 or fewer people to continue to reduce the spread of the disease. This practice has led to the closing of bars, restaurants, and retail stores across the country.
- Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water. All health organizations have advocated for everyone to wash their hands often to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Here are some fun
- A group of people, young and old, who have weakened immune systems due to underlying conditions such as HIV/AIDS, Down Syndrome, or heart disease A person with an immunocompromised system who contracts coronavirus may result in hospitalization. Those who are not immunocompromised may be asymptomatic (without symptoms) or experience mild symptoms.
- On January 17th, the CDC and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol started health screenings at all S. airports for passengers returning from Wuhan City, China. On January 23rd, the United States reported the first case of coronavirus.
Killing the virus
- There are several products you can use to kill the coronavirus on your common surfaces. Let the disinfectant sit on the surface before wiping it with a paper towel. The length of time will depend on the disinfectant.
- Find ways to relax during the COVID-19 outbreak and to take a break from social media and the news. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. The CDC has several recommendations to manage stress and anxiety.
- The Governor of Ohio, Republican Mike Dewine, was one of the first governors to initiate school closures, public gathering bans, and the closing of restaurants and bars. He recently decided to postpone the Ohio Democratic primary election as a result of COVID-19.
- According to the World Health Organization, the coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to MERS and SARS. COVID-19 is a novel, or new, viruses in the coronavirus family. It was not previously identified in humans until November 2019.
- One percent is considered to be the mortality rate for the coronavirus, according to many science and public health officials. The percentage has ticked higher in places where hospitals have been overwhelmed by sick patients who are unable to get the care they need. Current mortality rates in the US are hovering at 0.5 percent.
- An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease that attacks many peoples at the same time in one area. A pandemic is a disease that spreads across many countries and affects a large number of people. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization.
- Quarantine refers to the restriction of movement for people. Currently, the United States is asking people to self-quarantine to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Other countries such as Italy and China have established national quarantines to slow the rate of infection. In isolation, healthy people are separate from the sick but with COVID-19 it’s hard to know who is and is not a carrier.
Response Supplemental Appropriations Act
The United States enacted $8.5B in aid to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 titled the Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. President Trump initially asked for $2.5B. The bill includes money for research, public health funding, medical supplies and to help fight the disease internationally. The bill was enacted on March 6th by President Trump. Senators and other members of Congress have asked for another round of efforts of economic relief for small businesses, middle and low-income families, and the travel industry.
- Social Distancing refers to maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between you and other people, in addition to minimizing contact, public transportation, and other large gatherings. The strategy has been used to help save lives during other pandemics. You can still go outside, but you must avoid close contact with people even if they appear to be healthy. A person can still be a carrier even if they are asymptomatic.
- Toilet paper became one of the first products to fly off the shelves. Many people on social media have spread pictures of empty aisles in Target, Kroger, and other major department store chains. Despite the empty aisles, producers say they have plenty of food and supplies in stock.
U.S. Public Health Service
- The U.S. Public Health Service is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services and is the largest public health program in the globe helping staff the local health departments throughout the country. The coronavirus is being monitored by the public health service at both the local and federal levels. Check with your community’s public health department to see what restrictions are being implemented.
- Virulence refers to the severity of the harmfulness of a disease. Many epidemiologists are still trying to quantify the virulence of COVID-19. To keep up with the current outbreak, the World Health Organization has an interactive map to track cases worldwide.
Work from home
– Working from home has become the new reality for millions of workers across the country as many offices have shut down and school closings have kept many parents home. It’s unclear how long offices will remain closed as health and government officials determine the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, but working from home might be the new normal for many workers.
– One of the benefits of being home and quarantined is spending more time with your family and loved ones. Most of the time, we are bustling from school to work to other activities, but the outbreak of COVID-19 has allowed many of us to spend more quality time with our families.
- Yellow fever is an infectious disease spread by mosquitos was catalyzed by trade as infected patients traversed between Europe, America, and Africa. Many doctors initially hypothesized that you had to come in contact with an infected patient as widespread epidemics occurred in major port cities in the United States such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and New Orleans. Many more Americans who fought in the Spanish-American war died of Yellow fever as opposed to combat. A vaccine was developed in the 1940s, but there are still cases of yellow fever throughout Africa and Central America resulting in approximately 30,000-60,000 deaths annually. Pandemics such as yellow fever have created the modern medical system we know now and spurred the creation of the National Quarantine Act in 1878. COVID-19 does not have a vaccine and while it should not take hundreds of years to create, it is expected to be another year or so, although preliminary testings have started.