How to Stay Healthy Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has many concerned about their health and the health of loved ones—and rightly so. We’re breaking down what you need to know about the virus and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
What You Need to Know
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered strain of the coronavirus. Although research is still in its infancy, evidence suggests the virus can be airborne, but is not considered an “aerosol” as of yet. This means that the virus can be transmitted through a cough or a sneeze, so the particles are airborne for a few seconds; however, the particles aren’t in the air for extended periods of time.
Am I at Risk?
Once a person contracts the disease, symptoms and severity can differ based on a number of factors. Older adults or people with underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk for severe illness.
What are the Symptoms?
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is complicated, in part, by how long it takes for an infected person to start noticing symptoms. More often than not, people don’t experience any symptoms until many days after being infected. They could be spreading the virus unknowingly. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath
Most people experience mild symptoms and are able to recover at home. However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, consult your doctor or local health department for information on how to proceed.
How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19
COVID-19 is a novel disease. Information on how the virus spreads and how to protect yourself can change as new research and information emerges. Therefore, it’s a smart idea to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus-related information from a trusted source, such as the CDC or World Health Organization.
Of course, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to COVID-19, which would mean to avoid other people altogether. However, for many people, this is not always possible due to work or other responsibilities. Here’s a few best practices you can follow to reduce your chances of infection:
- Wash your hands regularly. Use soap and water to thoroughly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is unavailable at the time, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face. Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth, especially if you haven’t washed your hands recently.
- Maintain a safe physical distance from others. Authorities recommend keeping at least 3 feet between yourself and people that are coughing or sneezing. Many communities are implementing “shelter in place” measures, instructing citizens to stay home as much as possible in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
How to Protect Others from COVID-19:
Even if you’re not at high risk for contracting COVID-19, it’s still very important to take precautions for the sake of others. An immunocompromised person could contract the virus easier than a young person in good health. Furthermore, certain groups of people could become severely ill if they contracted the virus. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of entire communities to help stop the spread and lower the severe risks that exist for older or sick family and friends. Here’s a few ways you can help prevent the spread in your community:
- Follow good respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and throw away tissues immediately.
- Stay home if you’re not feeling well. If you have a cough, a fever, or difficulty breathing, self-isolate. Do not venture out to public areas.
For more information on COVID-19, contact your local health department or visit the CDC website. For information on what Cernero Surgery & Aesthetics is doing to ensure the health of our patients, contact us here or by calling 903-462-4247.
Posted in: general health