This post is by Bernie Carr,
I’ve been hearing about the new coronavirus from Wuhan, China. Although the cases reported are mostly in China, it is worth keeping an eye on the developments.
What is a coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a common virus that cause an upper respiratory infection – nose, sinuses, or upper throat. While most coronaviruses are not dangerous according to WebMD, some can be serious such as MERS Middle East respiratory syndrome. The current virus is in the same family of viruses as SARS – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. You may recall SARs killed close to 800 people back in 2002-2003 outbreak, also originated in China.
The current outbreak’s symptoms include cough, fever and difficulty breathing. As the symptoms worsen, the illness may lead to pneumonia, kidney-failure and even death.
Notice: We do not give medical advice. We may write about health topics with regard to emergency preparedness but this is not medical advice. Please contact your medical professional if you have symptoms.
So far, the number of cases number around 300, with six reported deaths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the outbreak started in a seafood market in the city of Wuhan, China, a heavily populated area with around 11 million people. There has been one case reported in the U.S. in Seattle, WA.
Initially the virus was said to spread from animals to humans, however, authorities from China have confirmed it can be transmitted from human to human.
While the majority of cases are in China, one case has been reported in Japan, and one in South Korea, and now one in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is working with the WHO in closely monitoring these cases. Screenings for the new disease will be conducted at three airports: New York City’s JFK International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. The Seattle patient arrived in the U.S. before the screenings were initiated.
How you can prepare
Learn all you can about the virus and what’s going on
Currently the CDC is concerned about travelers who have visited Wuhan, China. Below are their guidelines:
“Travelers to Wuhan should
- Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
If you traveled to Wuhan and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should
- Stay home. Except for seeking medical care, avoid contact with others.
- 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.
- 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. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.”
However, with international travel, potential spread of a disease is only a plane-ride away.
Common-sense steps you can do now
But there is no reason to panic either. Just take some common sense measures on things you can control.
- Boost your immune system – eat nutritious foods, get enough sleep and rest, exercise regularly.
- Avoid crowds. You’ll also avoid catching a cold or flu from all the germs going around this season.
- Wash your hands frequently. If you are unable to wash your hands, use a hand-sanitizer with 60% alcohol content.
- Have a comprehensive first aid kit and learn basic first aid for minor injuries. If there is a spike in infections, doctor’s offices and emergency rooms will become over-crowded and you may not be seen right away.
- Masks* appear to be the first thing that sells out in areas afflicted by the coronavirus- it doesn’t hurt to purchase them in case someone in your household gets sick. *The CDC indicates masks are only necessary for someone who has the coronavirus to avoid contaminating others. You do not need a facemask if you are not sick, unless you are taking care of someone who is sick and unable to wear a facemask.
- An alternative to wearing masks is the BioScarf, which filters out germs including cold and flu germs. I reviewed the BioScarf and use it especially in the winter. Disposable gloves are also helpful in case you have to take care of a sick person in your household.
- Have a plan on when you and your family will decide to stay home for a few days in case the virus spreads in your area.
- Have at least two weeks worth of water and food stored in your home, in case you have to quarantine yourself.
For more information, read my post on how an average person can prepare for a pandemic.
© Apartment Prepper 2020
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