CORONAVIRUS – COVID 19[1]

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face.

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).

Watch for symptoms[2]

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses).

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

What you can do[3]

If you have a serious underlying medical condition:

· Stay home if possible.

· Wash your hands often.

· Avoid close contact (6 feet, which is about two arm lengths) with people who are sick.

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.

· Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.

· Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.

· For more information on steps you can take to protect yourself, see CDC’s How to Protect Yourself

Stress and coping

Older people are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 which may result in increased stress during a crisis. Fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.

Things you can do to support yourself

· Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media.

· Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.

· Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

· Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

· Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

· If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call 911, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)

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[1] https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications/older-adults.html