The coronavirus has been a topic of major concern recently, as this sickness has spread from China to many other countries. With many fearing the impact of this outbreak to the United States, it’s good to be informed about what the coronavirus is, what it can do and how to prepare for or prevent it. Here’s what you need to know.
Coronavirus is a respiratory disease named for its crown-like appearance. There are many types of coronavirus which can cause diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Found first in animals and then transmitted to humans, this virus is spread through breathing and coughing respiratory particles onto others.
Coronavirus is known to cause upper-respiratory infections like the common cold, and even more serious ones like bronchitis and pneumonia. There are no cures to these illnesses, but there are plenty of ways to treat them until they’ve run their course. Symptoms of coronavirus and its resulting illnesses are often cold- or flu-like, including fever, runny nose, cough, breathing problems and shortness of breath.
The 2019-2020 Coronavirus
The coronavirus that is causing worry throughout the world right now is called a “novel coronavirus”, which means it is a new type that hasn’t been spread to humans before. Because it has not been known about or studied for long enough to be effectively treated in areas where it is most prevalent and dangerous, it is being considered a major health hazard. On February 11, the World Health Organization officially named it “coronavirus disease 2019” or COVID-19.
COVID-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, China. At the time of the publishing of this article, over 80,000 people have been infected in China. This virus has spread to more than a hundred countries and territories beyond China. Over 121,000 people worldwide are currently infected. Over 4,000 people have died from it at the time of the writing of this post, though 94 percent of resolved cases have resulted in recovery. This website has updated numbers and statistics so you can keep track of the coronavirus’ progression.
Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are working to treat and contain the coronavirus as it spreads. Many travelers returning to the United States from international trips have been studied for signs of sickness, and travel between China and the U.S. is halted at this time.
Prevention & Treatment
At the time of the publishing of this post, just over 1,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the United States. Health officials are currently saying that panic is not necessary, as it is being carefully monitored and treated. However, they have warned that people with compromised immune systems, such as the sick and elderly, are at risk.
In defending oneself from the coronavirus, there is plenty of room to practice preventative care in daily life. The regular, known types of coronavirus are causes of respiratory diseases such as the common cold and bronchitis. Therefore, this illness is spread through the air by coughing, sneezing and touching objects or surfaces that have been affected by airborne particles. Additionally, children are more likely to contract an illness like this, so teaching them proper illness care and prevention is important.
To avoid it, it’s a good idea to disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces like doorknobs, countertops, handles and children’s toys. Also, wash your hands regularly, scrubbing for 15-30 seconds, and keep several feet of physical distance away from others who are sick. If your immune system is compromised and you’re likely to get sick easily, wear a face mask to avoid breathing potentially harmful particles that others have breathed into the air. You can also prevent others from getting sick by covering a cough with your arm or a tissue and not touching others after coughing or sneezing.
The coronavirus, like a common cold, is treated fairly simply with over-the-counter medication, lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking a hot shower or using a humidifier to help with a sore throat or cough. If symptoms worsen, see your primary care physician for advice and medication, and if the symptoms escalate to extreme levels, go to the emergency room for treatment.
How Community Access Network Can Help
We want to help you stay as healthy as possible. While the coronavirus is a current health hazard, there are also plenty of other common illnesses floating around with the potential to make you sick, such as the flu and the common cold. If you’re in need of assistance with preventing or treating any illnesses that are present in your life, contact us today or walk into one of our locations!