How to Protect Yourself From CoronaVirus

How to Protect Yourself From CoronaVirus

Since the December outbreak in Wuhan, China, the new coronavirus has spread rapidly, with more than 120 000 confirmed cases in 114 countries as of early March. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus that causes the disease known as COVID-19 seems to be spreading in the community in certain affected geographic areas. As with any virus, however, there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself.

Take steps to protect yourself

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

Stay home if you’re sick

 

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

 

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

 

Plan your travel accordingly

The CDC recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to mainland China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel to Japan. “For people at risk for the complications of COVID-19, such as those with underlying medical conditions or those who are older, it may be prudent to avoid any long-distance travel,” says Dr. Goldberg.

Keep in mind, layovers at airports in these destinations also count. If a layover is unavoidable, the CDC recommends that travelers not leave the airport. Travelers with layovers may still be subject to screening and monitoring when entering the United States.