One individual I spoke with was involved that the studying glasses she had ordered from China is perhaps contaminated with the virus and harmful to her well being. The brief reply: extremely unlikely.
Whereas coronavirus can exist on surfaces for days, circumstances equivalent to temperature and humidity have to be favorable. Covid-19 is primarily unfold via shut contact with somebody who’s contaminated.
Throughout a viral pandemic, we are sometimes our personal worst enemies.
Level in actual fact: We contact our face with our palms, together with our nostril, eyes, and mouth — areas with mucous membranes, a mean of 15 to 23 instances an hour. A lot of the time, we do not even understand we’re doing it. We additionally contact door handles, subway poles, handrails, saltshakers, different folks’s palms and grocery carts. We inhale tiny droplets that come from somebody sneezing or coughing close by.
The excellent news? The steps you may take to guard your self towards the extraordinarily low likelihood that you simply would possibly get uncovered to coronavirus within the US may also guard towards the widespread outbreak we are literally experiencing right here — seasonal influenza.
Whereas no less than 60 instances of Covid-19 have been confirmed within the US, nobody has died of it right here, whereas this 12 months’s influenza has contaminated no less than 29 million within the US and killed about 16,000 to date.
Covid-19 is spreading simply and sustainably within the Hubei province and different components of China, and has been confirmed in additional than two dozen different international locations. Whereas the worldwide loss of life toll has to date topped 2,700, it is good to do not forget that greater than 80% of the Covid-19 instances have been gentle, requiring little to no medical intervention, and it’s a lot much less lethal than extreme acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Center East respiratory syndrome (MERS), that are additionally coronaviruses.
Right here is the perfect recommendation I may give you, to keep away from any virus and flu: Be deliberately hygienic in public and through interactions with others. Hand hygiene is a cornerstone of an infection prevention. Efficient hand hygiene requires acceptable period and thoroughness, which needs to be a objective every time our palms are cleaned.
Use cleaning soap and water for the period of time it takes to sing the “Joyful Birthday” tune, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. In a examine we performed available hygiene, the commonest areas missed by hand washers had been thumbs, wrists, and in between fingers.
When our scientific group was caring for 4 sufferers with the lethal Ebola virus illness in Emory College Hospital’s isolation unit 5 years in the past, our protocol for donning (placing on) and doffing (taking off) our private protecting tools (PPE) — disposable scrubs, a Tyvek go well with, shoe booties, two pairs of gloves, apron, respirator, and hood — was a matter of life and loss of life.
Throughout simulations, we decided that the 2 factors of highest threat for self-contamination had been inadequate hand hygiene and through elimination of the powered air purifying respirator. In resource-scarce areas the place Ebola outbreaks have occurred, the hazard to well being care employees is much more pervasive.
Our group was profitable at safeguarding our well-being as a result of we monitored one another. Every time we placed on or took off our PPE to enter or depart the isolation unit, a colleague with a guidelines was watching to verify we did not miss a step.
Safety of well being care employees is significant with Covid-19 as nicely: to date, greater than 1,700 well being care employees in China have been contaminated and 6 have died. That’s worrisome. We do not wish to lose well being care employees as occurred in Sierra Leone and Liberia with Ebola, the place there are monuments to the a whole lot of well being care employees who died there.
In the actual world, it could be unrealistic to stroll round sporting protecting clothes and respirators. However there are classes we realized that may apply to any state of affairs.
As an example, my household simply flew from Michigan to Atlanta, and requested me, what can we do on the aircraft? Ought to we put on a masks? My reply — do what you must do each time: Do not contact surfaces after which contact your face. It does not need to be in a fearful or compulsive manner — simply remember and conscious of defending your self.
A masks that you’ve got by no means used earlier than and put on all day lengthy, that will get damp, shouldn’t be going that can assist you. It’s possible you’ll contact it quite a bit as a result of it’s uncomfortable, reducing its effectiveness.
Fairly merely, good hand hygiene and face hygiene will shield you from loads of sicknesses, together with Covid-19.
Threat relies on publicity. Some folks can have an elevated threat of an infection, equivalent to well being care employees caring for sufferers with Covid-19 and different shut contacts. For most of the people within the US, who’re unlikely to be uncovered to this virus, the speedy well being threat from Covid-19 is taken into account low right now.
My threat, being an infectious illness doctor, is barely elevated, since I see people with respiratory viruses. However my finest protection is similar as yours: concentrate on potential publicity and mitigate it, be conscious of what you contact, and be sure you wash your palms nicely and sometimes.