COVID-19 is a respiratory infection caused by a novel (new) virus that arose from the area of Wuhan, China in December 2019. CDC reported that the following affected geographic areas have confirmed widespread or sustained community transmission: China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea. The virus is spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible that a person can also get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own nose, mouth, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads according to the CDC. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Symptoms can include fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. At this time, the CDC believes that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
Signs and Symptoms
You can help stop Coronavirus by knowing the signs and symptoms:
Shortness of Breath
Seek medical advice if you:
Have been in close contact with a person known to have Coronavirus or if you live in or have recently been in an area with the ongoing spread of Coronavirus.
The New Jersey Department of Health opened a hotline for the community to call with any questions concerning the Coronavirus: 1-800-222-1222.
If You Have Traveled To An area affected by Coronavirus…
If you were in an area affected by Coronavirus and feel sick with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left, you should:
Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
-Avoid contact with others.
-Not travel while sick.
-Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
-Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Tips to Avoid the Spread of Respiratory Illness:
People of all ages can be infected by the new COVID-19. Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.
There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available to kill viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain Social Distancing
Social distancing will help slow down and stop the spread of highly contagious diseases. Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and others.
Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose and Mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can easily 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 make you sick.
Practice Respiratory Hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately. The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases. Facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 and/or Influenza to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Stay Home When You Are Sick
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance to allow your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
Wipe surfaces with Clorox or Lysol disinfecting wipes with at least 70% alcohol. Try and avoid getting moisture into the connection jacks of cellphones, iPads, etc. Don’t’ spray disinfectant directly onto a surface, spray on a cloth and wipe clean. Don’t forget to clean highly used objects and areas such as phones, keyboards, tablets, doorknobs, handrails, etc.
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