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Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as “an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus,” adding, “The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).”

Most people who are infected with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms in the form of respiratory illness, and most of those who are affected will not need special treatment. However, older people and those who have underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory disease have a higher chance of developing a serious illness if exposed to COVID-19.

Tips on Protecting Yourself

The first thing you want to do is stay updated on the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak. You can do that by visiting the New York State Department of Health’s website. You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website. Beyond that, follow these safety tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Maintain social distancing, which is at least three feet from you and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, although six feet is even better.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Why? When hands touch surfaces, they can pick up viruses. If contaminated hands touch the eyes, nose, or mouth, the virus can enter your body and make you sick.
  • Follow good respiratory hygiene. Meaning, if you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue.
  • If you don’t feel well, stay home. If you have difficulty breathing, a cough, and a fever, contact your healthcare provider. Call your doctor in advance and they will direct you to the right facility.

If you do develop the signs of COVID-19, the CDC says to seek medical attention right away. The warning signs of COVID-19 include difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, inability to waken, confusion, and bluish lips or face. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and you are under home isolation, you can get more information here.