With around 8,000, opens a new window cases of a mysterious coronavirus already confirmed by the end of January, you may be wondering what steps you can take to keep yourself protected.
For starters, understanding what exactly this virus is and how it can be contracted is an important step toward staying healthy. Coronaviruses in particular are a large family of viruses, but the one recently in the news is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov), a form of coronavirus which causes respiratory illness (Center for Disease Control, opens a new window). The disease is spread by coughing, sneezing, close personal contact, or touching an object with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes (CDC transmission information, opens a new window).
Treatment and Prevention:
There is not a vaccination currently available to help protect yourself from coronaviruses, but practicing good hygiene can go a long way toward keeping yourself healthy. Doing things like washing your hands often with soap and water, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with sick people can help keep you healthy. The CDC also recommends that "travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China." For more travel tips from the CDC, click here., opens a new window
You can read more tips from the CDC about keeping yourself safe during flu season here., opens a new window The same measures recommended to help stave off coronaviruses are also in place for the flu as well. While the 2019-nCov is still mostly affecting China, with only a few confirmed cases, opens a new window in the United States, the flu is still going around locally and you don't want to forget to keep yourself healthy!
But don't panic! The most important thing to remember is:
"Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own" - CDC, opens a new window
Feeling a tickle in the back of your throat? Check out some of our books on plagues, disease outbreak, and more:
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