COVID-19, the new name for the disease being caused by the recent coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 is all over the news. You may hear one thing from one source, then hear the opposite thing from another source. That makes it hard to know what’s true. Read the following to get the real facts about the disease.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. It was first reported in China in December 2019. Because this is a new disease, doctors are still learning about it. You can expect them, along with other health experts, to provide new information about it frequently.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may occur 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. Most people who come down with COVID-19 have mild symptoms. These symptoms can make you feel like you have the flu. However, some people have more severe symptoms. In these cases, the virus may lead to pneumonia.
How do people get COVID-19?
The most common way to get COVID-19 is by inhaling respiratory droplets in the air. When a person with COVID-19 coughs and sneezes, tiny droplets leave their mouth and nose and go into the air. You can’t see these droplets. If you’re within 6 feet of that person, you may breathe in those droplets. You won’t even know you’ve done it. But by doing that, you may get the germs that cause COVID-19 in your body.
COVID-19 also can be shared if you touch a surface an infected person has touched. Some examples include door handles, elevator buttons and shopping carts. The germs can get into your body if you then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Who is likely to get COVID-19?
While there are many cases of COVID-19 in the United States, the overall risk of getting sick with it in the United States is still low for now. However, some people have a greater risk of becoming sick. Those include:
- Travelers returning from international areas where there is a high concentration of COVID-19 cases.
- People in contact with travelers returning from international areas where there is a high concentration of COVID-19 cases.
- People in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
Most of the people who are getting sick with COVID-19 are adults. While some children have become infected with it, too, most of them have had milder symptoms than adults.
If people 65 years old and older get COVID-19, they’re more likely to have a severe case. Likewise, people who have health issues, such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are also at risk of getting a severe case.
COVID-19 compared to influenza
Around the world, more than 100,000 people (as of the date of this article) so far have had COVID-19. In comparison, at least 22 million people in the United States have had influenza this season.
Things to consider
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and nervous when thinking about COVID-19. Here are some steps you can take to keep your stress under control.
- Talk with a health specialist:Ask him or her what you should or shouldn’t be doing. He or she also may suggest ways you can help your kids deal with any stress they’re feeling, too.
- Wash your hands frequently. This will help get rid of viruses and other germs on your hands. If you’re not near soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains between 60% and 95% alcohol.
- Don’t touch your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth. These are the locations where a virus can enter your body.
- Stay healthy. Eat a balanced diet. Get plenty of sleep. Exercise. Don’t use tobacco products or alcohol to deal with your stress.
- Get your news from trusted sources. Make sure the online news articles you read are from a trusted news-based organization. Aside from your doctor, you can trust information from the ministry of health kenya Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the World Health Organization.
- Don’t panic. You can do this by staying informed and knowing the facts.
If you or someone in your family begins to feel sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school.Call health officials . He or she will advise what you should do next. If you or someone in your family develops a fever, cough, and has trouble breathing, go to the nearby hospital.