The coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, is now in Ohio.
With so many questions and fears surrounding the virus, it’s important to have all the facts. Let’s start with those.
The information below comes directly from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the official disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus that has not been seen in humans until now. This coronavirus was first detected in China and has been named “SARS-CoV-2,” while the disease it causes is called coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated “COVID-19.”
Symptoms of COVID-19:
- Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
Effective preventative measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, following the CDC’s five steps: wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry.
- If you want to use hand sanitizer, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol in it.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow rather than your hand.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you feel sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Wear a facemask ONLY if you are sick or are caring for someone who is sick. If you are not sick, do not wear a facemask.
If you have been exposed to or are sick with COVID-19, you should:
- Call your doctor.
To minimize the risk of spreading the virus, call your medical provider to inform them of your situation before going in for testing. This will help your provider take the necessary steps to keep others from being exposed to the virus.
- Stay home.
People who have mild cases of can self-quarantine at home during the illness. Avoid leaving home, except to seek medical attention. Avoid public areas (such as work, school, the grocery store, etc.) and public transportation (including ride-sharing services and taxis).
- Separate yourself from others in your home.
If possible, you should stay in one room and use a bathroom that no one in your home will use while you are ill, away from other people and/or animals in your home. Although there have not yet been reports about pets contracting the virus, it’s best to completely isolate if possible until more is known about the virus.
- Wear a facemask.
If you are sick or if you are caring for someone who is sick, wearing a facemask is helpful in preventing the virus’ spread.
- Read more here on the CDC’s website.
Find more information on the CDC’s website about COVID-19 in relation to:
- Symptoms and testing
- Fear and stigmas
- Pregnant women
- Caregivers and home care
- Healthcare professionals
- Schools and childcare programs
- How businesses and employers can plan and respond
Armed with the facts, we hope you’ll feel more confident in approaching somewhat of a confusing time. We will continue to update this article as we learn more!