Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an illness caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, a novel coronavirus that was formerly called 2019-nCoV. It was first identified in China, Hubei Province, Wuhan City, and reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 31st December 2019.
The WHO declared coronavirus disease outbreak a worldwide health emergency on 30th January 2020 and a global pandemic on 11th March 2020.
COVID-19 Symptoms and Signs
Reported illnesses of coronavirus disease have varied from mild symptoms to severe ones and even death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. The symptoms appear within 2 to 14 days after initial exposure, based on the MERS-CoV viruses incubation period.
These symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
How to Protect Others
There are steps that you can take to protect your loved ones and other people. They include:
- Stay home – Stay at home if you are sick and seek medical help by calling your doctor.
- Cover your nose and mouth – Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. You can also use your elbow – inside.
- Dispose of the tissue – Dispose of the used tissues the right way in the trash.
- Wash your hands – Wash your hands with water and soap for 20 or more seconds immediately and regularly. You can also use a hand sanitizer with 60% or more alcohol if water and soap are not available.
When to Wear a Facemask
Facemasks might be in short supply and need to be saved for caregivers. However, there are two times that you should ensure you have a facemask.
- If you are sick – Wear a mask if you are around people (like sharing a car or room) and before you enter your healthcare provider’s office.
- If you are not sick – Wear a mask when caring for a person who is ill and is not able to wear a facemask, for example, because it is causing trouble when breathing.
Clean and Disinfect
You should clean and disinfect regularly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, countertops, desks, phones, handles, switches, keyboards, sinks, faucets, toilets, and others. Use soap or detergent and water to clean them before you disinfect them.
Most EPA-approved household disinfectants will work. Remember the following when using the disinfectants:
- Use the appropriate disinfectants for the right surface.
- Check for the expiration date before you use a disinfectant.
- Get a product with at least 60% alcohol.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using these products.
Household bleach can work if you dilute it properly (do not mix bleach with a cleanser or ammonia).
- Mix 5-tablespoon (1/3rd cup) of bleach with a gallon of water or,
- Mix 4-teaspoon of bleach with a quart of water
COVID-19: Things to Remember
Here are things that you should remember about coronavirus disease:
- The effective way to prevent COVID-19 is to ensure that you are not exposed to the virus. Ensure that you do not endanger others.
- Senior citizens and people with severe health conditions such as diabetes and lung and heart diseases seem to be more prone to developing severe complications from coronavirus disease. Care for these people by not exposing them.
- Call your medical caregiver before you visit the office to get guidance on how to go about it. Avoid exposing the caregivers.
- Stay at home in a specific room and use a separate bathroom. Avoid exposing your loved ones.
- Call 911 in case of a medical emergency and notify the operator that you suspect you have COVID-19. Put a facemask before the medics arrive to avoid exposing them.