Since the news of the Corona virus first became widely known, people all across the US have become fearful of catching the deadly virus. People that are experiencing the slightest symptoms are encouraged to stay home. Ninteen people have died so far in the U.S with more than 300 cases confirmed in our nation (The Hill, CDC has tested 1583 people). This is a serious issue and many lives have already been claimed by this virus but running a slight fever or experiencing a tickle in your throat does not mean you are the next victim.
The corona virus belongs to a large family of viruses which cause a range of illnesses from a common cold to something more serious like SARS. This cornovirus is considered a novel coronavirus, which is a new strain that we have not seen in humans before. Coronaviruses are zoonautic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and humans. There are several coronaviruses that only effect animals. When they do cross over and affect humans, like the virus we are dealing with now, this is called a spill over event. Please keep in mind that everyday we are learning more and more about the virus and information regarding the virus, including protocol on how to safeguard yourself are being updated daily.
How severe is the virus?
It really depends. At the moment, we know that 1 in 5 cases can become severe, leading to things like pneumonia, acute respitory distress syndrome, and in some circumstances, even death. The noval cornovirus has a mortality rate of 2% meaning that 2% of people who’ve had the virus have died from it, but also means that 98% of people who’ve had the virus have gotten better from it. Which is much less than SARS who has a mortality rate of 10% or Ebola, whose mortality rate of 70%. Keep in mind that there are still people receiving treatment for the Coronavirus daily, so statistics can change.
What are symptoms of the Coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization, symptoms of CV are much like that of the common cold or flu; symptoms like fever, runny nose, dry cough, and shortness of breath. For more severe symptoms, patients will need hospital treatment. There is currently no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
How is the virus spread?
It is still unclear how the virus is spread from person to person. However, similar viruses are spread through cough droplets from close contact. Close contact is considered being close within 2 meters of someone who is infected for at least 15 minutes. There is still lots of information that we don’t know about this virus and the CDC advised the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Everyday actions to prevent the spread of disease
Here are a few everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses in general:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Don’t share food, beverages or smoking devices with others
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid shaking hands—try a fist bump instead
- Stay home when sick
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve or cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue directly in the trash
A few things travelers should know:
The US State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued travel notices for countries affected by the coronavirus. These countries include:
• Japan (Level 2: Exercise increased caution)
• Hong Kong (Level 2: Exercise increased caution)
• South Korea (Level 3: Reconsider travel)
• Italy (Level 3: Reconsider travel)
• China (Level 4: Do not travel)
• Iran (Level 4: Do not travel — was previously issued because of safety concerns for Americans)
There are quite a number of people who believe this to be a very calculated political maneuver by the powers that be to distract us prior to and during an election year. Regardless of if this is hype or not, we take the reports very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation for periodic updates by the government. Be sure to check out our site for more updates on this deadly virus and things you should know.