Coronavirus, known as COVID-19, is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 discovered in 2019. The virus can spread through respiratory droplets and can be caused by a person-to-person contract. Scientists and Healthcare officials explain that respiratory droplets are caused by infected individual’s coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets can stay in the air until another individual comes in contact and becomes infected. The virus can cause such an easy spread that the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January 2020, and a pandemic in March 2020.
COVID-19 is dangerous because some individuals who are infected may not have visible signs or symptoms. While others, who are infected and show visible signs, their symptoms can range from mild to severe. The causes of COVID-19 can cause the possibility of anyone to receive severe illness and may result in hospitalization or death. Although, individuals with serious medical conditions or adults who are 65 years or older are at higher risk of severe illness.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to:
These symptoms may appear between 2 to 14 days after an individual is exposed or infected by the virus. Although some symptoms may be mild, the following are emergency warning signs involved with COVID-19. The individual may need to be hospitalized and seek medical care immediately if they have trouble breathing, pressure in the chest, inability to stay consciously away or cause frequent confusion, and have pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds depending on the skin tone.
Practicing every day precautions can help reduce the likelihood and chance of being infected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention share the following guidelines on how to practice everyday precautions:
Everyone 2 years and older should wear masks in public.
Masks should be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, especially around people who don’t live with you.
If someone in your household is infected, people in the household should take precautions, including wearing masks to avoid spread to others.
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on your mask.
Wear your mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
Stay at least 6 feet (about two arm lengths) from other people.
Authorized COVID-19 vaccines can help protect you from COVID-19.
You should get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.
Once you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters puts you at higher risk for COVID-19.
Avoid indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible.
If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.
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.
It’s especially important to wash:
Before eating or preparing food
Before touching your face
After using the restroom
After leaving a public place
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After handling your mask
After changing a diaper
After caring for someone sick
After touching animals or pets
If you are wearing a mask: You can cough or sneeze into your mask. Put on a new, clean mask as soon as possible and wash your hands.
If you are not wearing a mask:
Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Clean high-touch surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.