Ways to Protect Yourself Against Spreading Coronavirus
All Others - February 20, 2020
There is no denying that the Wuhan coronavirus has become a major global threat. The illnesses, which seems to have spread from humans to animals in Wuhan, China, is now rapidly spreading around the globe via person-to-person exposure. The death toll is steadily increasing, and it is becoming more clear just how easily this virus is spread in close quarters. While the coronavirus has affected people in more than two dozen countries, the US has nowhere near the number of cases as China. It is still important to know how to protect yourself from spreading the virus.
Stop the spread of coronavirus
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. They say that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus altogether. However, the CDC does recommend the following steps to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and any other respiratory viruses.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing.
- If soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Use a solution with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Do not leave your house if you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick, particularly anyone who has recently returned from a trip to China.
- Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Plan to disinfect frequently touched surfaces or objects inside your household with a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Do you need a facemask to prevent coronavirus?
If you have been watching the news of the last few weeks, you have likely seen seas of people In Asia wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The CDC does not recommend that people who are not ill wear a face mask to protect themselves from any respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus.
However, the CDC does recommend that anyone who shows symptoms of the 2019 coronavirus wear a mask in order to prevent spreading the virus to other people. Anyone who works in health care or those who are taking care of someone in close settings (such as a health care facility, nursing home, or assisted living facility) should also wear a face mask.
Putting the coronavirus into perspective
It is important to understand that health care agencies and government bodies around the world are working to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Researchers are actively looking for a way to treat this virus. The majority of people who contract coronavirus do not die from the illness. To put this into perspective, we want to highlight data from the CDC that shows around 12,000 Americans will die from influenza (commonly called the flu) each year in this country. Approximately 50 million people are infected with the flu each year in the US.
While it is reasonable to be worried about the coronavirus, you should also take steps to prevent anyone in your family from contracting the flu. While there is no vaccine for the coronavirus, flu vaccines are very effective and are recommended for most Americans each year.