GLOBE-MIAMI – While local grocery stores are running out of commonly used items like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and wipes, the message from health officials with regard to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) is to remain calm, and practice social distancing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that for the next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S. According to the CDC these large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other types of assemblies. At press time, President Donald Trump held a White House briefing and changed that recommendation to consist of 10 people or less. Trump asked that the American people avoid discretionary travel, as well as eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts.
While at press time, the state of Arizona had a confirmed 18 cases of COVID-19, the danger of transmitting the virus to our more vulnerable population is real.
Understanding the facts about COVID-19 is imperative to stop the panic and prevent its spread.
The CDC states that the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. It can easily be transmitted between people that are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). The virus can also be spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
People are thought to be the most contagious when they are showing symptoms, but some of the spread might be possible before people show symptoms. It may also be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. But according to the CDC this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
The CDC asks that everyone watches for symptoms, which include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If experiencing emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning sings include: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, or bluish lips or face.
Community members can protect themselves and others by washing their hands for at least 20 seconds, using Lysol products to disinfect their surroundings, and by practicing social distancing which generally means staying home to prevent the spread, and only going out when necessary.