Flu-like illnesses or influenza occur seasonally in our latitudes. However, their intensity, length, the type of virus strains circulating, and the impact on the population vary from year to year. For most people, influenza resolves on its own.
Who is at higher risk?
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows following group of people are at higher risk of developing complications. This includes:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic respiratory diseases
- Conditions and therapies that weaken the immune system
Progression of the disease
The way the novel coronavirus disease progresses can vary widely. Some people, for example, have only mild symptoms and hardly notice that they’re ill. Others need intensive care in hospital.
Helpful rules of hygiene and behavior
Wash hands thoroughly and regularly with plenty of soap.
Use hand sanitizer several times a day.
Sneeze and cough in disposable tissues.
Alternativly, sneeze and cough in the crook of your arm.
Dispose used tissues in a closed bin.
Avoid shaking hands and hugging.
Stay home if you have a fever and/or cough. If possible, avoid big public crowds.
Practice social distancing—protect the elderly by keeping a safe distance.
Coronavirus Pandemic—Frequently Asked Questions
At this time, no dedicated drug protects against the new coronavirus.
Follow the rules of proper hygiene and respiratory etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes).
So far, no approved vaccine against the new coronavirus exists. Researchers are working intensively on a vaccine.
Areas of the United States would begin implementing increased restrictions on travel and other activities.
A state of emergency resulting from danger or threat of danger to a nation from foreign or domestic sources and usually declared to be in existence by a governmental authority. What constitutes a national emergency varies from country to country.
An epidemic is an outbreak of contagious disease that has become more severe and less localized and spreads quickly and affects many people.
A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. A pandemic is a widespread epidemic.
A sudden rise in the incidence of disease that is typically confined to a localized area or a specific group of people.
A sudden, sharp-sounding expulsion of air from the lungs that acts as a protective mechanism to clear the air passages or as a symptom of pulmonary disturbance. People should cough and sneeze into their arms and not their hands.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that 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).
Yes, the risk of contracting the new coronavirus is increasing in the United States of America.
The new coronavirus is mainly transmitted through long-term contact. It is recommended to keep a safe distance, which means, when exposed to infected individuals, remain not less than 6 feet away and for not more than 15 minutes.
The coronavirus is a new virus against which humans have yet to develop an immunity. Therefore, we must slow the spread of the new coronavirus as much as possible in order to protect vulnerable populations.
We especially need to protect people at higher risk of becoming seriously ill. This includes those over 65 years of age and those with a preexisting condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and those undergoing therapies that weaken the immune system.
The incubation period for the new coronavirus (i.e., the time between initial infection and the appearance of the first symptoms), is usually 5–14 days.
Normally, if you have a viral respiratory illness (e.g., cough, runny nose), you are contagious. People are most contagious when they have the most severe symptoms. But the new coronavirus may be different: You may be contagious immediately before symptoms appear.
Monitor your health and observe whether symptoms of the disease develop. If you have mild symptoms, such as cough and low-grade fever, stay at home, but if you have strong, intense symptoms, such as high fever and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, contact or see a doctor.
It is not yet known whether coronavirus can be transmitted from food to humans.
No complete information on this question currently exists. Scientists estimate the risk is very low. If a pet lives in the same house as a person with coronavirus, it may become infected or contaminated. The animals themselves do not show any symptoms of illness, which means that they do not get sick.
So far, there is no treatment for coronavirus. Treatment is limited to symptom relief. Sick people should isolate themselves to protect others. In the case of severe illness, treatment in the intensive care unit is usually required. Artificial ventilation may be required.
No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only against bacteria. Therefore, antibiotics cannot treat an infection like the new coronavirus.
No, healthy people should not wear hygiene masks in public. Only wear masks if a health care provider tells you to do so.
People with mild symptoms such as running nose, cough, or low grade fever.
Fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
- Yes, wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding, and other household items if you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you touch often.
- Stay home from work, school, and public areas if you are sick.
Even if you are a hugger, we recommend a very lovely, casual elbow bump.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, you should avoid large gatherings and crowds and maintain a distance of approximately six feet from others.
Anyone who has an illness accompanied by fever is asked to refrain from going to any communal area where they could spread illness to others.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Cough/sneeze into your elbow.
- Get this season’s flu shot if you haven’t already.