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Americans Should Prepare for Coronavirus Spread in the US, CDC Says | Here’s How You Can Stay Protected Against the Virus

Americans Should Prepare for Coronavirus Spread in the US, CDC Says | Here’s How You Can Stay Protected Against the Virus

The coronavirus is quickly spreading across the world despite measures to stop it. Here's what you need to know in order to protect yourself and your loved ones.

The recent mass outbreak of the deadly coronavirus across the globe - starting from China and later reported in places in Europe, Iran, India etc. - has people taking precautions to keep themselves from being infected and now those in the United States of America will have to do the same.

"It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness," said Dr.Nancy Messonnier, the head of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

She added that as of right now, action to contain the virus in the U.S. so far includes restricting travel to and from China — the center of the outbreak — and taking measures to isolate those who have been diagnosed with the virus. However, due to increasing cases in regions such as Iran and Italy, the CDC has raised levels "of concern and expectation that we'll see spread" in the U.S.

"When you start to see sustained transmission in other countries throughout the world, it's inevitable that it will come to the United States," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC News. Hence the need to start finding ways to prevent yourself and your loved ones from falling prey to the disease.

Source: Getty Images | Photo by Joao Paulo Burini

What is the coronavirus exactly?

The World Health Organization defines it as: "Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans."

Originating in China, this type of virus is usually transmitted between animals and humans, though several known coronaviruses that are circulating amongst animals have not yet affected humans. However, now this virus is spreading from human to human.

The symptoms include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can also result in pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

"More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus," says WHO. Those with weak immune systems can also be a risk factor.

Source: Getty Images | Photo by Michael Heim

What are the precautions to take?

The WHO states the following as the precautions to take:

- Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections

- Frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment, for at least 20 seconds each time

- Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals

- Practice cough etiquette such as maintaining distance, covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and washing hands

Source: Getty Images | Photo by Virojt Changyencham

- Cook meat and eggs thoroughly

Additionally, according to CNN, if you are the one feeling sick, make sure to cover your mouth and nose completely when you cough or sneeze. Don't use your hands though and cough or sneeze into your bent elbow or a tissue that must be immediately disposed of. 

If you feel symptoms of a common cold, immediately visit a doctor, says CDC. Ensure that you and your family take these precautions in order to prevent any of you from falling ill with the virus or other diseases that make you susceptible to it. Gather as much information as you can about the virus and keep yourself prepared.

References:

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/americans-should-prepare-coronavirus-spread-u-s-cdc-says-n1142556

https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200216-sitrep-27-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=78c0eb78_2

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/16/health/coronavirus-how-to-protect-yourself-trnd/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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