With coronavirus or COVID-19 spreading to more cities, states and countries, awareness and concern also continue to grow. No matter where you live or what your age, it is important to take steps toward protection.
Following are several simple steps you can take to prevent illness and bolster your health:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Even regular hand washers often miss this mark – 20 seconds is about the time it takes to sing “happy birthday” twice. Determine a song of your choice or follow the second hand on your watch to ensure you are washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick, no matter what the illness. If you are caring for someone who is sick, try to wear a mask. The CDC only recommends masks for those who are ill or caring for someone who is sick. Stay home if you feel unwell.
- Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth. Also, avoid shaking hands for the duration of the virus.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly – this can include commonly touched areas such as doorknobs, light switches, computers, handles, phones, bathroom sinks, counters, toys and more.
- Take care of your mental and physical health. Make sure you are eating well, drinking plenty of fluids, exercising and doing something to relieve any stress you may feel regarding the virus. Limit screen time, particularly if you find yourself getting overwhelmed by news or social media messages.
With symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath and body aches, coronavirus can be confused with influenza. Please contact your doctor’s office with any concerns.
To prepare your household, you can gather a two-week supply of non-perishable food staples and household supplies such as toilet paper, laundry supplies and diapers. It is also recommended to have at least a 30-day supply of prescription medications and other common health supplies (cold medicine, pain relievers) on hand. You may also want to create a plan in case of closure at work, daycare or school.
In addition, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site for ongoing updates and information.
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