The outbreak of the coronavirus around the world has everyone concerned regarding the origin of the virus itself, the severity of the disease, how to prevent it and the possible forecast in the long term.
We have gathered the relevant information regarding COVID-19 in this post, and we advise you to supplement this information with official resources and follow the instructions issued by your local authorities.
What is coronavirus COVID-19?
The disease is part of a family of coronaviruses originated in animals, many of them having made the jump to humans, including the current virus officially named Covid-19. The virus attacks the respiratory system, causing cold-like symptoms with chest congestion.
Coronavirus is suspected to be transmitted from person to person through sneezing and coughing, and not keeping hands clean. Scientist don’t think that it can spread from water or food.
Generally speaking, coronavirus has a considerably low mortality rate, lower than 3%. Only around 15% of infected patients have presented severe symptoms.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Even doctors can struggle to distinguish between the flu and coronavirus, as they are still trying to understand the full scope of the virus. The most common symptoms showed by confirmed cases are:
- Dry cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle aches
The incubation time for the virus is 2-14 days, and the infected person might not experience symptoms for up to two weeks after you have been exposed.
What can I do to protect myself?
Since the virus spreads in a similar way as the flu, the best course of action we know at this point is to avoid exposure to the virus. In order to do so, the following actions are advised:
*Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. If water and soap are not available, use high alcohol- based hand sanitizer. Pay special attention in public spaces and when you get home or to work.
*Viruses can live on some surfaces for hours. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands and disinfect frequently touched objects such as doorknobs and your phone.
*To avoid spreading the disease, ALWAYS cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze with either a tissue or your arm and dispose of the tissue immediately and safely. Using your arm is not the best way but if you have nothing else available to sneeze into, it works.
What happens if I suspect I or someone I know has coronavirus?
If you suspect any symptoms (listed above) related to the coronavirus or had contact with someone who did, you should contact your health care professional as soon as possible. Stay home as much as possible and if you must go out, be sure to be cognizant of your surroundings and use sanitizers.
What are the measures that I should take if I own a business with employees who have recently returned from China, Italy or other countries which are banned by the US?
Asses your business’s level of exposure and keep employees informed about safety measures to minimize the risk of infection. Employers should advise staff to restrict traveling to areas affected by the disease. In case you have employees who have returned from these areas you can request them to stay at home for 14 days. Be aware of the obligations you might have for those workers such as compensation if they get the virus.
If you cannot get hand sanitizers, use the following recipe:
2/3 cup 99% alcohol—Very hard to find but if you visit your local liquor store, you can get pure grain alcohol (PGA)
1/3 Aloe Vera gel
For a good smell, add a few drops of essential oil
This is obviously no substitute for washing your hands with antibacterial soap but every method of prevention helps.