The novel coronavirus is zoonotic (transmission is originally from animal to human), and can easily spread via human to human transmission or through community. There is no absolute way to stop this outbreak from spreading but it can be slowed down. As individuals, we can take precautionary and preventive measures to protect ourselves and our families. Common symptoms of the virus are fever, cough and shortness of breath.
The current risk of infection in the United States (as of publication) is low. Travelers from certain countries arriving in the U.S. must go through preventive protocols and may have to be quarantined for up to 14 days for close medical observation.
From the CDC -
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Food for thought Daily ubiquitous items that may require immediate and constant attention for disinfection (wipe down and/or spray):
- cellphones, handheld devices, tablets, keyboard and screens
- handbags, purses, wallets, belts, accessories, lanyards
- for drivers: steering wheel, door handles, gear shift, radio, dashboard.
- eyeglasses, airpods/ headsets
- for students: bookbags, school supplies, jackets, caps, shoes, badges
- baby strollers, car seats/carriers, toys exposed to elements
Can you think of other items in your household or daily commute that require disinfection?
Marigold Castillo, M.D.
Dr. Marigold "Dr. Gold" Castillo is a board-certified physician specialist practicing in Bayside, New York. She is an assistant professor of Pediatrics at Zucker School of Medicine of Hofstra/ Northwell. She focuses on personalized care in general pediatrics and adolescent medicine.