West Texans should be prepared for a COVID-19 outbreak. Every community can take preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including taking an active role in practicing daily health habits.
The purpose of the article is not to encourage manic, but to education and provide knowledge to the community with accurate information. Currently, there is no vaccine available for COVID-19. Until one is beneficently developed, community-based interventions can help slow its spread.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. These viruses cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
May appear 2 to 14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
How the Virus Spreads
Current understanding about how the virus spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 3 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Infected Surfaces or Objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How easily can virus spread?
Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Protective measures for the Coronavirus
COVID-19 is still affecting mostly people in China with some outbreaks in 60 other countries. New cases are starting to show up in the United States. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others.
Measures to protect yourself and others:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least three feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Follow the directions of your local health authority. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
as of 03/22/2020 2:00 p.m. CST
Source – CDC
- Confirmed Cases: 294,110
- Global Deaths: 12,944
- Cases in U.S.: 15,219 / 201 deaths
|Cases in Texas: The Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting on March 22 that more cases of COVID-19 has brought the state total to 334 / 5 Deaths.