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As of Feb. 11, the World Health Organization announced the official name for the Corona virus as disease-COVID-19
First discovered in Wuhan City, the Hubei Province of China, COVID-19 has infected thousands in China and has the potential to spread to other countries. Westford Public Health Nurse, Gail Johnson issued the following information to help residents know what to do.
- A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified, first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
- The Centers for Disease Control is still unsure of how the spread has occurred. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats.
- The spread of COVID-19 is noted to be from person to person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Via 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.
- CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
- Symptoms can include: Can be mild to severe
- Shortness of breath
- Can lead to pneumonia, either viral or bacterial pneumonia. The people who are at higher risk of dying from this disease, would potentially be people who have pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease)
CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water before eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and before and after caring for a sick friend or a family member. The most effective way to clean hands is to wet them with clean water, then apply soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds, before rinsing and drying with a clean towel.
It is understandable that residents might be nervous about traveling via airplane or ship. For people who are traveling to locations other than China, there’s no reason to expect a flight will be canceled or that passengers need to make any other changes.
There are some strategies for remaining safe from germs as possible while you travel. People should take the same precautions for the COVID-19 as you would for the flu or any other virus. Clean surfaces that someone who has been sick has touched. Wash your hands regularly and use sanitizer. Avoid contact with people who are sneezing and coughing and use disinfectant wipes to clean off surfaces. https://www.bustle.com
As of Feb. 3, the CDC does not recommend that Americans wear face masks, unless they personally know someone who is infected.
There is so much guidance on the CDC website to review. The CDC updates the status of COVID-19 frequently on their website if you need further information. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low at this time.
Source: CDC website and bustle.com.
Westford Health Department