By knowing where to get accurate information to protect you and your family
By Kathleen Boucher
Fear thrives on the unknown, bad news, and uncertainty. Let’s dispel some of the fear surrounding the Coronavirus or COVID-19 by educating yourself with the most up to date facts. Good hygiene is essential. Stop shaking peoples’ hands. Touch elbows instead!
Where did the virus originate?
The Coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The first known cases were traced to an animal market in Wuhan, China where persons are believed to have come in contact with infected animals. The market is now closed.
The following information on symptoms and how the virus spreads are taken from the National Public Radio website.
What are the symptoms?
Early symptoms include fever and dry cough. Some people also experience fatigue, headaches, and, less frequently, diarrhea. Shortness of breath can develop about 5 days in.
About 80 percent of cases so far seem to be mild, according to the World Health Organization. “Mild” seems to run the gamut from cold-like symptoms to that flu-like feeling of being hit by a train. Doctors say that patients with this range of symptoms should rest, drink plenty of fluids, and self-isolate to avoid infecting others but don’t necessarily require hospitalization.
They should, however, make sure to check in with their doctor, especially if they take a turn for the worse. About 20 percent of cases are more severe and require hospitalization. Symptoms in severe cases include pneumonia (which makes it harder to breathe) and kidney failure.¹
How does it spread?
Health officials believe the virus can be passed from person to person via exchange of fluids from the respiratory tract, but they still don’t know precisely how The respiratory route seems likely because clusters of cases have been observed within families whose members have had prolonged close contact with an infected person. There is emerging evidence in Wuhan that the virus can spread from one person to another to another multiple times — the way that a disease like the flu spreads. That’s something that global health officials are watching for in international cases.¹
Now that you know more about the Coronavirus, consider the following.
a) The world has come together to work on a vaccine. Information is shared so that the vaccine can be made as quickly as possible. The experts say it may take up to a year or longer for a vaccine to be approved.
b) Countries have set up panels of experts to advise their leaders as to the best way to keep their citizens safe.
c) There are numerous sites where you can get up to date information.
Choose to educate yourself. Avoid hot spots that have the most cases of infected individuals. Stock up on supplies that will last you two weeks should you come down with symptoms. Stay home if you are sick. Listen to and follow the advice of experts. We are all in this together.
Thank you calvin-hanson from unsplash.com for the photo