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Coronavirus Disease 2019

Coronavirus disease is an infection that has spread throughout the world. This is first identified in Wuhan, China (2019). This is an infectious disease. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in humans or animals. Several coronavirus reasons for respiratory infections range from the common cold to more severe illnesses. These diseases include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is the most recently discovered coronavirus disease.

Why it is called Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19?

In February just this year, the World Health Organization released an official name for the disease. It is called Coronavirus because its particles exhibit a characteristic corona or crown of spike proteins around its lipid envelope. Formerly, this disease was referred to as the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV. The name of this new disease was selected by the World Health Organization.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptoms of this disease are:

⦁    Tiredness

⦁    Fever

⦁    Dry cough

Some patients may also experience:

⦁    Diarrhea

⦁    Sore throat

⦁    Runny nose

⦁    Nasal congestion

⦁    Aches and pains

Some people don’t develop any symptoms or don’t feel unwell and get infected. Most people recover from the disease without any treatment; 1 out of 6 becomes seriously ill with COVID-19 and develops difficulty breathing. People with cough, difficulty breathing, and fever must call for medical help.

How it spread?

This infection is spread from person to person. It may be through small droplets from the one who is infected through sneezing or coughing. The droplets can land on surfaces around the person and objects. Other people then might catch the virus if they breathe in the droplets from the person infected who coughs out. This is the reason why “1 meter or 3 feet distance” is important these days especially on infected people, even in people who are not sick.

How to protect yourself and your family?

Now that the virus has spread throughout the world, it is very important to follow preventive guidelines.

For yourself

⦁    Wash your hands. Wash them correctly by using soap and water. Wash them for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, you can use hand sanitizers.

⦁    Stay at home. Staying at home can help flatten the curve. If you do need to leave home, you should follow some basic preventative measures.

⦁    Boost your immune system. Your body is better able to fight off the infection if you have a strong immune system. This is the best time to focus on all healthy habits.

⦁    Stay hydrated, minimize processed foods, and eat enough micronutrients when you can.

⦁    Try to stay calm. Also with your health physically, you must take care as well of your mental health. High-stress levels can take a toll on your immune system.

For your family

⦁    When you cough or sneeze, use a tissue or the crook of your elbow. If you get mucus on your skin, clean it off at once.

⦁    Avoid touching your face or anywhere in your house.

⦁    If you have a family member who is not feeling well, avoid close contact with them and call for a healthcare professional for advice.

⦁    Regularly and thoroughly clean your surface.

⦁    Practice social distancing.

During these uncertain and stressful times, we must maintain our emotional interactions with others. You can still use text messages, video chats, phone calls to be part of each others’ lives. This, not the time to have sleepovers, travels, parties, playdates, or even small group gatherings.

How to help stop the stigma related to COVID-19?

The primary success factor in any response to communicable diseases is to trust the healthcare system. Here are some points on how to avoid compounding social stigma:

Words Matter

Certain words and language might have a negative meaning for people and fuel stigmatizing attitudes. Words used in the media are very important. The words being expressed will shape the popular language and communication on the COVID-19.

Do Your Part

Social media influencers, ethnic groups, or those who practice ethical journalism must work together to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Communication Tips and Messages

Rumors and misinformation contribute to stigma and discrimination. Correct misconceptions and acknowledging that people’s feelings and subsequent behavior are real. Promote the importance of prevention and lifesaving actions. Facts, not fear, will stop the spread of this pandemic disease.

What is a community spread?

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area. It includes some who are not sure how or where they became infected. Communities can take steps to help limit the spread of the virus. You can restrict travel, close public transportation, and ban mass gatherings.

In Case of Community Outbreak

What to do?

Put your preparedness plan to work and stay calm.

⦁    Limit close contact with others.

⦁    Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation.

⦁    Continue to practice everyday preventive actions.

⦁    Stay in touch with others by email or phone.

Steps  on how to protect your children

⦁    Clean hands often

⦁    Avoid people who cough or sneezes

⦁    Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily (desks, tables, light switches, remotes, or doorknobs)

⦁    Launder items such as washable toys. If possible, you can launder items using the warmest water setting.

Works and Schools

Stay at home if you can and talk to your employer to discuss working from home or taking leave. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home.

If schools are dismissed temporarily, discouraged students and staff from gathering or socializing anywhere.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a high risk if you are in the United States?

The spread of the virus has reached in the United States with confirmed cases at least 40,000. The officials in the US have warned that due to delays in testing in many areas. As the number of confirmed cases increases, the officials have ordered residents to stay at home.

2. What to do if you had close contact with someone infected with COVID-19?

Close contact is someone who has been faced to face for at least 15  minutes or been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours with someone infected with the coronavirus.

Isolate yourself at home until 14 days after you were last exposed to the infectious person. Do not leave the house except if you will seek for medical help. Stay in a different room to other people if possible and wear a surgical mask when you are in the same room as others. Use separate bathrooms and don’t go to work or school, public areas, and use public transportations. If these signs and symptoms develop, call for medical help right away:

⦁    Shortness of breath

⦁    Fever

⦁    Cough

⦁    Sore throat

⦁    Headache

⦁    Runny nose

⦁    Diarrhea

3. Are people with a certain medical condition have a high risk of the infection?

Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill. But, some people are at a higher risk. You may be at high risk if you:

⦁    have had an organ transplant

⦁    have blood or bone marrow

⦁    are having certain types of cancer treatments

⦁    have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections

⦁    have a severe lung condition

⦁    are pregnant and have serious heart disease

⦁    are taking medicine that weakens your immune system

Here are the things you should do to avoid catching the infection if you are at high risk:

⦁    Stay at least 2 meters or 3 steps away from other people in your home as much as possible

⦁    By not going out or leaving your home to do shopping, exercise, or pick up medicine

4. Is it okay to donate blood?

Blood banks across the country have seen donations scrapped because of the pandemic disease. While canceled blood drives have represented the biggest hit to many blood banks supply, the fear of contracting the virus has kept someone to donate blood. You can still go out and donate blood. Here are some things you need to know about giving blood during this pandemic.

Blood-donation centers are cleaner than ever. Precautionary measures are being practiced twice as it was before because of COVID-19.

You can’t get the virus by donating blood. COVID-19 is an infection in the respiratory and has no evidence that by blood transfusion, it is transmissible. People get it by respiratory droplets in the air after the infected person sneezes or coughs.

You should not donate if you feel sick. Only healthy people can donate blood. You must also be at least 16 years old and weighs at least 110 pounds.

Do not donate if you have been diagnosed, have been in contact, or are showing any symptoms of COVID-19. If you have been diagnosed with the infection, you should wait 28 days after your condition has fully resolved before you can donate. If you have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you can’t donate blood. If you have symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, stay at home and call your local health department.

Donated blood is a lifeline for;

⦁    people undergoing organ transplants

⦁    the victims of car crashes or other emergencies

⦁    those who are cancer patients

⦁    those who may need blood products to boost their immune systems

5. What to do if someone in your house gets sick with COVID-19?

The spread of the virus is a person to person transmission rate. It mostly affects younger adults not just older generations. People who are infected with COVID-19 and don’t need hospitalization are recommended to stay at home. But, it still leaves their roommates and family at a high risk of being infected. The following are some tips on how to take care, someone, with COVID-19:

⦁    Designate personal space for COVID-19 patient

The goal is to lessen the social contact, the length of time of contact, and the environmental space shared with a sick person on an everyday routine.

⦁    Home ventilation and good airflow

If a person is sick, there is a release of the virus into the environment through coughing or just breathing. The virus stays in the hair for hours and is transmitted by droplets that fall rapidly and exists on surfaces. To lessen the risk, having a good airflow and ventilation is recommended.

⦁    Serving their food

All standard rules are applied when it comes to food preparation. Washing hands and disinfecting kitchen surfaces are needed. If you will be serving their food, you can just leave it at their doors.

⦁    Keep the door closed and limit circulation

Keeping the doors closed of a sick person can provide an extra layer of protection. It is an extra precaution that there are no droplets left in that place.

⦁    Pet interaction

Limiting pet interaction benefits people in the house more than the pet itself. The dog isn’t going to get infected but it can act like a contaminated surface for other people to get sick.

⦁    Cleaning the house

Cleaning means the removal of specks of dirt, germs, or impurities of surfaces. This is the act of disinfecting the surface using chemicals to kill germs. Disinfecting surface after cleaning can lower the risk of spreading the disease. While cleaning, you need to wear masks, disposable gloves and use diluted bleach solutions. Clean your surface as often as you can. When handling laundries of an infected person, use disposable gloves as well.

6. Is COVID-19 the same as SARS and MERS?

Three of 7 coronaviruses can cause much more severe and sometimes fatal. These have caused major outbreaks of deadly pneumonia in the 21st century.

⦁    SARS – was identified in 2002 which caused an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome

⦁    MERS – was identified in 2012 which was the caused of middle east respiratory syndrome

⦁    COVID-19 – is a novel coronavirus identified in Wuhan China in late 2019 and already spread worldwide

References:

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/novel-coronavirus-close-contact.aspx
https://www.cityofmadison.com/news/community-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19-occurring-in-dane-county