Currently, the coronavirus is a huge concern to the global health community. With instances popping up in the US, Americans are getting concerned. That concern is entirely understandable. However, there is no need to panic. Today we are exploring the basics of the coronavirus. Read on to learn what exactly you need to know.

Disclaimer

All of the information in this article is pulled from the web sites of two international health organizations. The Centers for Disease control and prevention (the CDC) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) this article is not intended to be a comprehensive guide. Instead, it is an introduction that includes only the most important facts. Visit the CDC and WHO websites for more information.

How Does The Virus Spread?

Primarily, the virus spreads when people who are sick transfer it through proximity or touch. The CDC estimates that the average distance for person to person spread is about 6 feet. Additionally the virus spreads through droplets from the sick person sneezing or coughing.

Health officials believe that the virus can be spread when people make contact with infected surfaces or objects. For example, if someone with the virus coughs into their hand and then touches a door handle. While this is a legitimate concern, person to person spread is much more common.

Symptoms

With an illness like coronavirus, everyone wants to make sure that they don’t have it. This concern is made worse because America is at the tail end of it’s flu season. Coronavirus has a few very distinct and identifiable symptoms.

First and foremost, professionals characterize the virus by a high fever. Oftentimes, that means temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and nearing 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other than the fever patients exhibit symptoms of a respiratory infection. A cough is the most common symptom. With the second most common being a shortness of breath.

The problem with these symptoms is that people with the flu often have a fever and cough. So how do laymen tell the difference between the two illnesses. Medical professionals need to check on anybody who is possibly sick. In the meantime, do not panic. People with the flu often experience chills and an overall achy feeling. Professionals have not tied either of those symptoms with the coronavirus.

Prevention

Preventing coronavirus is actually more simple than most people believe. The most important line of defense is washing hands. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. Make sure to get the palms of the hands, the backs of the hands, in between your fingers, and under your fingernails.

As far as face masks are concerned, they really aren’t necessary. The only individuals that need face masks are people exhibiting symptoms and health professionals who are treating those individuals. A face mask is unlikely to protect you from the virus and people are buying face masks at such a volume that is difficult for hospitals to maintain their supply. This is ultimately less safe for everybody.