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  • What Is Coronavirus, and Should You Worry?

What Is Coronavirus, and Should You Worry?

Steps to help prevent coronavirus, including washing your hands

By Kevin McCarthy | February 26, 2020 | Rally Health

By now you’ve probably heard about the new coronavirus, and the respiratory illness it can cause. The virus was first detected in China, and is now spreading around the world. In the US, it has begun to circulate in some communities. As of March 5, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that most Americans have little immediate risk of exposure to the virus. But the CDC expects that it will eventually spread more widely. We know the prospect of an outbreak can be unsettling, and a lot still remains unknown. But there are steps you can take now to get prepared in case an outbreak disrupts your daily life. 

It’s a good idea to talk to your school administrators about their plans to deal with an outbreak, and consider what you’ll do if your children’s school closes for a while. Make an emergency contact list and think about the supplies you’ll need at home, like disinfectant, food staples, and medications. Finally, know how to limit the spread of the virus.

What are the symptoms?

Much like the flu, coronavirus can cause a respiratory illness that ranges from mild to severe, including death. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 

How to help prevent the spread of coronavirus

Also like the flu and colds, good hygiene can help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Try to:

  • Wash your hands diligently, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid exposure to people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect household items regularly.

What to do if you get sick?

If you do think you might have symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying home except to get medical care. Call your doctor before you visit to find out how to get the care you need without infecting others. Separate yourself from others in your home, and don’t share household items. Wear a facemask when you are around others, and practice the hygiene steps above. Finally, keep an eye on your symptoms and talk to your doctor before you return to regular activities. 

Take precautions now so you’re prepared when coronavirus does begin to spread. You can follow the situation at the CDC’s website

Related Articles:

How to Prepare for the Coronavirus 

How Not to Get Sick While Traveling

Novel Coronavirus: What Is It and How Can You Protect Yourself?

Why the Coronavirus Seems to Hit Men Harder Than Women 

Originally published February 26, 2020. Updated March 5, 2020.

Kevin McCarthy
Rally Health