COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) HITS THE U.S.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY!
COVID-19 has been spreading across the U.S. since late January along the West Coast and is currently spreading along the East Coast, with cases now appearing in the tri-state area and other parts of the U.S. (New York Times COVID-19 Tracker (U.S.)). According to a report issued by the New York Times on March 5th, “Many people with coronavirus experience only minor symptoms, and some of the first patients in the United States have already recovered and returned to daily life.” Despite such reports, local research institutions are researching solutions round-the-clock till a reliable remedy for this now-global epidemic can be identified.
Many colleges and universities are recalling their students from study abroad programs where the virus has been detected – and in surrounding areas where the virus has not yet infiltrated. Most scheduled university-based study abroad and conferences have been cancelled or postponed due to the uncertainty of exposure and various academic and corporate institutions are cancelling any non-essential travel at this time.
In New York, our friends at Lexington Medical Associates are available to address questions related to detection of the virus, preventative measures and more. “We realize that the trajectory of the virus is unclear at present…. Rest assured that we will continue to monitor the situation, and know that we are here to help you navigate any shifts in the landscape. If you have any additional questions, please call us at 212-750-5088.”
BASIC FACTS ABOUT COVID-19
INCUBATION PERIOD: 2-14 days
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides guidelines for symptoms. Within 2-14 days of exposure to the virus, you may experience flu-like symptoms including:
- High Fever (100.4 or higher)
- Shortness of Breath
- Trouble Breathing
- Changes in Mental Status
- Severe Dehydration
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
- Muscle Aches
WHO IS AT RISK?
Those primarily at risk of contracting the virus should be tested immediately. These include:
- Anyone who recently traveled to/from China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran, or other affected areas within the past two weeks.
- Anyone requiring hospitalization for one or more of the symptoms mentioned above.
- If you have been traveling in an area where COVID-19 was detected OR are known to have been in contact with a person with COVID-19, contact your doctor immediately to get tested!
PREVENTION & TREATMENT:
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also provides guidelines for preventative measures and treatment.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with regular cleaning spray/wipes.
- Official recommendations for facemasks are:
- do not wear a facemask if you are well; it will not protect you from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- do wear a facemask if you have symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent further spread of the virus.
- it is critical for healthcare workers to use facemasks because they are taking care of patients in close settings (either at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially
- after going to the bathroom;
- before eating;
- after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
- if hands are visibly dirty.
- An alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is also recommended.
WHERE IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL?
Our friends at Lexington Medical Associated strongly recommend you sign up for the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive regular updates on where it is safe (and unsafe) to travel. The list is updated regularly and reliably. Additional travel advisories are also available at the U.S. Department of State’s Homepage.
Other Helpful Links
*Chris Salboudis is Founding Director & CEO of Philo4Thought, an organization that that supports the development of philosophical and social initiatives.