There is no coronavirus treatment in the form of a vaccine, so your best defense is to learn how to prevent coronavirus. Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend supportive care for people who contract the virus. For cases that are considered severe, supportive care should include care for vital organs.
On Feb. 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced a name for this strain of the coronavirus disease: COVID-19. The first case was detected in Wuhan, China, and it was first reported to the World Health Organization Country Office in China on December 31, 2019. COVID-19 is essentially a shortened version of “coronavirus 2019.” COV for coronavirus, ID for infectious disease, and -19 for the year it was detected.
Who Is Most Susceptible To Coronavirus?
People who are at the greatest risk are the elderly and possibly the very young, but researchers stress that no one is immune.
The results of new research from China is showing that men, particularly middle-aged and older, are having a harder time fighting off the virus than women. Researchers credit women’s heightened immune systems and better overall health (non-smokers, lower blood pressure) as the reasons.
CDC researchers also say that there is no evidence that children or pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19.
Human Coronavirus Infection Symptoms
- Shortness of breath
Although the symptoms may seem similar to the flu or the common cold (to a lesser extent), coronavirus is a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) — a respiratory illness. Shortness of breath is a key indicator of coronavirus because of the effect it has on your upper respiratory system.
Side effects range from mild to severe but can appear anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure.
Although there is no treatment for coronavirus, you should know how to prevent coronavirus and keep it from spreading. The measures are similar to those taken to keep the flu and colds from spreading.
These are the most up-to-date recommendations from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus prevention:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
If you’re not feeling well, but feel well enough that you think you can still work, and you have the ability to work from home, experts recommend doing so. Working from home will keep you away from others and can curb the spread of the virus.
You should also be especially mindful of preventative measures when you’re traveling.
Should You Wear a Facemask?
Since the virus is causing a lot of public health concerns, you may be considering wearing a facemask for protection. Here are the CDC’s recommendations for wearing facemasks:
- CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask to protect yourself from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).
If you think you have coronavirus and already have an appointment to see your doctor, call your doctor’s office ahead of your visit and tell them that you have or may have coronavirus This will help the office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed. And when you go in for your appointment, it’s recommended you do wear a mask, again, to keep from exposing others to the virus.
Now that you know how to prevent coronavirus, there are other steps you can take to stay healthy. If you’re older and are concerned about getting sick, talk to your doctor. You may also be able to take advantage of our checklist that lists the most concerning health issues for older adults. Inside you’ll find simple ways to detect and prevent the most serious diseases that typically affect older people.