Coronavirus: What is it and how can I protect myself?


What’s COVID-19 and the way can I shield myself?

Reply From Pritish Ok. Tosh, M.D.

A brand new virus referred to as extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was recognized as the reason for a illness outbreak that started in China in 2019. The illness known as coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19).

In March 2020, the World Well being Group (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Public well being teams, together with the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) and WHO, are monitoring the pandemic and posting updates on their web sites. These teams have additionally issued suggestions for stopping the unfold of the virus that causes COVID-19.

How does the coronavirus unfold?

Knowledge has proven that the COVID-19 virus primarily spreads from individual to individual amongst these in shut contact (inside about 6 toes, or 2 meters). The virus spreads by respiratory droplets launched when somebody contaminated with the virus coughs, sneezes, breathes, sings or talks. These droplets could be inhaled or land within the mouth, nostril or eyes of an individual close by.

Typically the COVID-19 virus can unfold when an individual is uncovered to small droplets or aerosols that keep within the air for a number of minutes or hours — referred to as airborne transmission.

The virus may unfold for those who contact a floor with the virus on it after which contact your mouth, nostril or eyes. However the danger is low.

The COVID-19 virus can unfold from somebody who’s contaminated however has no signs. That is referred to as asymptomatic transmission. The COVID-19 virus may unfold from somebody who’s contaminated however hasn’t developed signs but. That is referred to as presymptomatic transmission.

It is potential to get COVID-19 twice or extra, however that is unusual.

What are the signs of COVID-19?

COVID-19 signs could be very gentle to extreme. Some individuals don’t have any signs. The commonest indicators and signs are fever, cough, tiredness, and lack of style or scent.

Different indicators and signs might embrace shortness of breath, muscle aches, chills, sore throat, headache, chest ache, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. This listing just isn’t full. Different much less frequent signs have additionally been reported. Signs might seem 2 to 14 days after publicity.

Can COVID-19 be prevented?

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency use authorization to some COVID-19 vaccines in america. The FDA has authorised the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, now referred to as Comirnaty, to forestall COVID-19 in individuals age 16 and older. The FDA has given emergency use authorization to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for ages 5 via 15. The FDA has authorised the Moderna vaccine, now referred to as Spikevax, to forestall COVID-19 in individuals age 18 and older. A vaccine would possibly forestall you from getting COVID-19 or forestall you from turning into critically unwell from COVID-19 for those who get the COVID-19 virus.

What can I do to keep away from turning into unwell?

There are a lot of steps you’ll be able to take to scale back your danger of an infection from the COVID-19 virus and cut back the chance of spreading it to others. WHO and CDC suggest following these precautions:

  • Get vaccinated.
  • Keep away from shut contact (inside about 6 toes, or 2 meters) with anybody who’s sick or has signs.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6 toes (2 meters) of distance between your self and others whenever you’re in indoor public areas for those who’re not totally vaccinated.
  • Keep away from crowds and indoor locations which have poor airflow (air flow).
  • Wash your fingers typically with cleaning soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. In the event you’re not capable of wash your fingers, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that incorporates a minimum of 60% alcohol.
  • Put on a face masks in indoor public areas for those who’re in an space with a excessive variety of individuals with COVID-19 within the hospital and new COVID-19 instances, whether or not or not you are vaccinated. The CDC recommends sporting essentially the most protecting masks potential that you will put on commonly, suits properly and is snug.
  • Cowl your mouth and nostril together with your elbow or a tissue whenever you cough or sneeze. Throw away the used tissue. Wash your fingers instantly.
  • Keep away from touching your eyes, nostril and mouth.
  • Clear and disinfect often-touched surfaces commonly.

When you have a persistent medical situation, you might have a better danger of great sickness. Examine together with your well being care supplier about different methods to guard your self.

Ought to I put on a masks?

The CDC recommends masks for most of the people. In the event you’re in an space with a excessive variety of individuals with COVID-19 within the hospital and new COVID-19 instances, the CDC recommends sporting a well-fitted masks indoors in public, whether or not or not you are vaccinated.

Utilizing masks in public might assist cut back the unfold from individuals who haven’t got signs. The CDC says that you need to put on essentially the most protecting masks potential that you will put on commonly, suits properly and is snug. Respirators akin to nonsurgical N95s give essentially the most safety. KN95s and medical masks present the following highest degree of safety. Material masks present much less safety. The CDC says that surgical N95 masks needs to be reserved for well being care suppliers.

In accordance with the CDC, if you’re vaccinated, you’ll be able to extra safely return to many actions you might not have been capable of do due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, if you’re in an space with a excessive variety of individuals with COVID-19 within the hospital and new COVID-19 instances, the CDC recommends sporting a masks indoors in public. You are thought of totally vaccinated two weeks after you get a second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after you get a single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. You might be thought of updated together with your vaccines when you have gotten all really useful COVID-19 vaccines, together with booster doses, whenever you turn out to be eligible.

Within the U.S., everybody must put on a masks whereas on planes, buses, trains and different types of public transportation.

Can I journey?

In the event you’re planning to journey, examine for journey advisories and use acceptable precautions when in public. It’s possible you’ll wish to speak together with your well being care supplier when you have well being situations that make you extra prone to respiratory infections and problems.

What can I do if I’ve or might have COVID-19?

In the event you develop signs otherwise you’ve been uncovered to the virus that causes COVID-19, contact your well being care supplier for medical recommendation. Your well being care supplier will doubtless suggest that you just get examined for COVID-19. When you have emergency COVID-19 signs, akin to bother respiration, search care instantly. If it’s good to go to a hospital, name forward in order that well being care suppliers can take steps to make sure that others aren’t uncovered.

Take the next precautions to keep away from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Keep residence from work, faculty and public areas and keep in isolation, besides to get medical care.
  • Keep away from public transportation, taxis and ride-hailing providers.
  • Put on a material face masks round different individuals or pets.
  • Wash your fingers often with cleaning soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Isolate your self as a lot as potential from different individuals or pets in your house.
  • Use a separate bed room and toilet if potential.
  • Keep away from sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and different home goods.
  • Clear and disinfect often-touched surfaces each day.

With

Pritish Ok. Tosh, M.D.

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