Coronavirus: What It Is and Prevention Tips

By alina bozo

Officially, the new coronavirus was detected in the United States. Although there are still many unknowns about this virus, we have gathered some information and tips to help you and your family.

What's coronavirus?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a new respiratory disease, was first discovered in Wuhan Province, China. Coronaviruses, a large group of viruses with crown-shaped faces that are found in many species of animals, are part of the Coronaviruses family. The CDC states that animal coronaviruses rarely infect humans and can then spread from person to person. The MERS 2015 outbreak and SARS 2002 outbreak are two examples of past coronavirus epidemics.

The CDC found that COVID-19 patients were often exposed to live animals and seafood in China. The number of people who were exposed to the market decreased over time, which indicates that the virus spreads from person-to-person.


What are the symptoms of ?

The CDC website states that symptoms of COVID-19 can appear within two days to 14 days after exposure. This is based on the MERS virus incubation time.

These symptoms can be similar to the common cold or flu.

  • Mild to severe breathing problems

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Difficulty in breathing


Is it contagious

Although it is not yet clear how COVID-19 spreads, it was believed that the MERS or SARS epidemics spread it when infected people coughed or sneezed.

Michael Todd, MD is a Mercy Health primary-care physician. He explains that there are many similarities between the new coronavirus virus and other viruses, such as flu.

He says, "All our providers, from nurse to doctor to doctor, are ready to treat it."

Stopping the spread

Dr. Todd explains how it is crucial to monitor and track the coronavirus in order to stop it from spreading.


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Good hygiene

There is currently no vaccine to stop the COVID-19 infection. Dr. Todd suggests taking "strict sanitary precautions", to avoid spreading respiratory viruses. These precautions include:

  • Use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

  • Do not touch your nose, eyes, or mouth with unwashed fingers.

  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick or has signs of illness.

  • If you're ill, stay home.

  • Use a tissue to cover any coughs or sneezes.

  • Make sure to disinfect surfaces and clean any objects.


Keep up to date

The CDC continues to learn more about the coronavirus. It is important to keep up-to-date with the latest developments.

Dr. Todd recommends that you always refer back to the CDC website.

Keep up-to-date with Mercy Health's COVID-19 activities.

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