On Thursday, 30 January 2020, World Health Organization declared Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-2019) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
An outbreak of the coronavirus (now called COVID-19) in China has caused global concern. It came from a seafood and meat market in Wuhan, China, in December. It has since spread to different countries in the world, including the United States.
Despite Wuhan and other Chinese cities being quarantined, the COVID-19 has spread to almost 70 locations internationally. In the U.S., COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in New York, California, Oregon and Washington State. Deaths have been reported in both Washington State and California.
On the other hand, body temperature screening (fever) is the major test performed at points of entry, i.e., airports, restaurants etc.
Although a fever could be considered any body temperature above the normal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (98.6 F or 37 C), medically, a person is not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38.0 C) could be a sign of COVID-19.
What Is A Coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a virus that is found in animals and, rarely, can be transmitted from animals to humans and then spread person to person. In addition to COVID-19, other human coronaviruses have included:
- The MERS virus, or Middle East respiratory syndrome.
- The SARS virus, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which first occurred in the Guangdong province in southern China.
Symptoms Of Coronavirus
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure and can include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Other symptoms can include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
How Coronavirus Spreads
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Take Steps To Protect Yourself
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Take Steps To Protect Others
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Stay home if you’re sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.