Today, we face an outbreak caused by a new virus, COVID-19, whose spread is fueled by global travel and moderate contagiousness. The virus was first detected in China and is now in more than 60 countries, including the United States.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person. Droplets launched in the air when someone sneezes or coughs can land directly on someone’s nose or mouth when they are in close contact, a distance of about 6 feet or less. It may be possible for someone to get COVID-19 by touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
What are the symptoms?
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:
- Shortness of breath
Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
Here is a guide from the CDC on how to prevent becoming infected with COVID-19:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well to wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
At CareLinx the health and safety of families and caregivers is our top priority. We are accustomed to taking precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like the flu in the fall and winter. With the recent spread of the novel coronavirus, and the peak season for flu, we are encouraging all of our families and caregivers to take additional steps to be extra careful. To learn more about the latest information on the coronavirus refer to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest updates.