How To Take Precautions to Avoid Contracting the Dangerous Coronavirus

washing hands with soap in sink

Coronavirus is a highly infectious virus that can be transferred from human to human very easily.

Did you know that it can live on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to three days? And that it stays on cardboard up to 24 hours, and copper for four hours? Coronavirus can also live as droplets in the air for up to three hours after someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.

It's important to understand the facts behind this virus and to take precautions to make sure you and your loved ones don't get sick. Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to avoid getting the virus.

What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a type of virus in the same family as the ones that cause common colds. The coronavirus disease infecting hundreds of thousands of people today is now being called COVID-19.

Coronaviruses are usually transmitted from animals to humans. This one is believed to have started at a seafood market in the city of Wuhan, China. 

The primary symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing (especially a dry cough)
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms do not always appear right away—they may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Symptoms can vary from person to person and can range from being virtually unnoticeable to severe. The elderly and people with existing health conditions are especially susceptible to contracting the virus. 

If you develop any emergency warning signs including trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face, it's important to seek immediate medical attention as these may be signs of a serious infection.

What Precautions Should You Take? 

The best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to limit your exposure as this virus is believed to be spread mainly from person to person. Here are some other precautions you should consider.

Wash Your Hands 

This is very important to limit the spread. It is recommended to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap is unavailable, the center for disease control recommends using hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. 

If you have been out in public, avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose until you have thoroughly washed your hands, as these are easy ways to get infected.

Avoid Close Contact

The Center for Disease Control also recommends social distancing. This means avoiding large gatherings and when possible, staying at least 6 feet away from others to prevent spreading. This is especially important for the elderly and those with a higher risk of getting infected.

It is also important to avoid being around sick people, even family members. The problem is you could carry the virus without having symptoms and could pass it on to someone unknowingly.

Stay Home When Sick 

If you are feeling sick, please stay home to avoid potentially spreading the virus. Make sure you call your doctor and stay in touch with them about your symptoms so they can recommend the best options for you.

Make sure when you are sick, you avoid all public areas and transportation as this could increase the spread of the disease.

Cover Your Mouth

Even if you believe it is just allergies, make sure you cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. Coronavirus has been known to live in droplets in the air from coughs and sneezes and can live up to three hours.

After using a tissue, make sure you throw it away in the garbage and immediately wash your hands with soap and water.  

Wear a Mask When Sick

It is important when you are sick to wear respiratory protection to limit the spread of the disease. If you are sick, you should be wearing a mask anytime you are around other people.

If you are not sick, it is not recommended to wear face masks due to a limited supply. There may not be enough face masks to go around and they should be saved for the sick, or those caring for the sick.

Disinfecting 

Make sure to clean and disinfect surfaces that have been frequently touched. Some of the surfaces may include:

  • Doorknobs and handles
  • Cell phones
  • Tables
  • Light switches
  • Desks
  • Keyboards
  • Keys
  • Credit Cards
  • Sinks
  • Toilets

When cleaning, it's important to wear gloves to protect your skin from getting irritated from the chemicals. 

According to the CDC, most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective against the virus. They also recommend using diluted household bleach. To dilute, mix 5 tablespoons of bleach for every gallon of water.

It is very important to never mix bleach and ammonia when cleaning. Doing so can produce toxic gases called chloramines.

Since the virus can live on surfaces for an extended period, cleaning and disinfecting is a major part of making sure we limit the spread of this virus.  The more that is done now, the fewer lives will be at risk.

For Those in High-Risk Areas

Coronavirus has spread faster than anyone predicted. If you are in a high-risk area where coronavirus is spreading, make sure you follow the precautions that are outlined by the World Health Organization. Those include: 

  • Avoid contact with others
  • Stay at home if you don't feel good, even if it is just mild symptoms like a headache or runny nose
  • If you develop a fever, cough, or are having difficulty breathing, seek medical attention as soon as possible

Social distancing when healthy and isolating yourself when sick are still the best courses of action we have against the virus, so practice them even if you don't live in a high-risk area.

For More Information on Coronavirus 

It is very important to follow the precautions listed above by the Center For Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Make sure you are doing your part to help limit the spread of coronavirus by washing your hands, avoiding close contact, staying home when sick, and disinfecting when needed. Remember, you may not always feel the symptoms when carrying the virus, so you could be spreading it to family members, friends, or others around you. It is best to follow the guidelines for your health and the health of others.

If you found this information helpful and would like to learn more, check out the rest of our site!

 

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