By Kendra Gohl, RN
Recent news about the new coronavirus, COVID-19, has many people worried. While there are good reasons for our public health officials to urge caution, there are many things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy—without going to extremes.
Viruses are microscopic organisms that vary from simple to highly complex. Each has unique traits, including how it moves from one person to another, how it infects people, and who it infects.
Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics. They can only be prevented through vaccines and healthy habits. The best way to prevent getting and spreading viruses is by building these healthy habits into your everyday life:
When you are sick, it’s important that you prevent spreading the virus to others. One thing that makes COVID-19 concerning, is that it spreads quickly. Early data suggests that one sick person can infect several others.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, “The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in Hubei province and other parts of China. In the United States, spread from person-to-person has occurred only among a few close contacts and has not spread any further to-date.”
With any infection, you should:
It’s everyone’s responsibility to practice good hygiene. Together, we can slow or stop the spread of virus, including COVID-19, the flu and the common cold.
Washing your hands often with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs. Here’s how:
When you can’t use soap and water to wash your hands, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60- to 95-percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Kendra Gohl is an infection prevention nurse and CMH’s Director of Nursing Services. She was recognized by the March of Dimes as Small Hospital Nurse of the Year in 2016. She has been at CMH since 1992.
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