The Coronaviruses are a family of four main sub-group types of coronaviruses including alpha, beta, gamma and delta. The human coronaviruses were first discovered in the mid-1960s. The human coronaviruses include MERS-CoV (MERS), SARS-CoV (SARS) and the current novel disease, SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19). The new coronavirus, COVID-19, was found as the cause of a novel disease outbreak originating in Wuhan, China, this year. COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory disease that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic in March 2020.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19 spreads from person to person contact within about six feet or two meters. Close proximity to another individual of less than six feet can put you in harm and at risk of becoming infected. Saliva or mucus droplets, from one infected individual, are dispersed into the air as well as on surfaces if they cough or sneeze. If these droplets touch a surface and an individual then comes into contact with the said surface by touching it then their face, they can become infected. Mucus from coughs and sneezes can disperse over several feet and remain airborne for up to 10 minutes.
What Are The Symptoms and Risk Factors?
The symptoms of COVID-19 can appear from two to 14 days after exposure to the disease. Symptoms have ranged from mild to severe based on the severity and the individual. The main symptoms that you or a loved one may have COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough
- Chills and body aches
- Pink eye
- Digestive problems
- Loss of smell and taste
- Sore throat
The risk factors of COVID-19 include:
- Recent travel outside of the country and in an area with community spread of the coronavirus as determined by the WHO and CDC.
- Close proximity to someone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Who Is At Risk Of Becoming Infected?
Elderly citizens, especially with existing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease are at a higher risk of becoming infected. According to the CDC, older adults and any individual with underlying medical conditions are also at a higher risk of developing COVID-19. In addition, the other higher risk groups include:
- People with asthma
- People with HIV
How Can You Protect Yourself From COVID-19?
To protect yourself, your loved ones and community from the virus, the most important thing to do is wash your hands frequently and stay inside. There is no vaccine available as of yet for the virus. Therefore, take the following precautions to prevent infection:
- Avoid any event or gathering with over five people.
- Stay home and safe as much as possible.
- Always remain six feet away from any individual.
- Wash your hands using soap and water for 20 seconds every time and as frequently as possible. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a 60% alcohol percentage.
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you sneeze and cough and throw away tissue immediately.
- Do not touch the face at all including eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect all home surfaces and high-touch areas daily.
- Clean your phone regularly with a disinfectant wipe.
- Wear face masks when going out in public areas.
- Wear gloves when going out in public areas, picking up takeout and packages.
- Wipe down and disinfect all packages and takeout boxes before using them.
- Do not visit an assessment centre unless referred by a health professional.
- Do NOT call 911 unless it is an emergency.
Protecting yourself, your family and community during this time is imperative to combating the virus and stopping the spread. Allwell Pharmacy is committed to providing you with the pharmaceutical services you need even during this difficult time.