If you’ve been listening to recent news about the coronavirus outbreak, you may be feeling a bit alarmed and overwhelmed about the state of global health. As of February 17, 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 71,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide. Although the vast majority of these infections are located in China, the virus has spread to 25 other countries, including the United States, and over 1,700 deaths have been reported so far.
Fortunately, you already know how to protect yourself from coronavirus. Simply use the same common-sense precautions you would use to avoid other respiratory illnesses, like the flu and colds. For starters, consider purchasing the SafeSpace Germ Fighter Kit. It contains our Germ Foggers, Auto Odor & Germ Eliminator, Hand Sanitizer, and more – everything you need to keep your family healthy.
What Is Coronavirus?
According to the WHO, coronaviruses (CoV) are “a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).” Any coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans is known as a novel coronavirus. An example of this is the most recent coronavirus outbreak, which is known as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-2019). COVID-2019 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
How does COVID-2019 differ from a cold, the flu, and other viruses?
Although they’re caused by different viruses, many respiratory illnesses cause similar symptoms. For example, if you have a fever, a cough, or a runny nose, it’s impossible to distinguish a basic flu from coronavirus without a laboratory test.
In addition, it’s important to acknowledge that there are many different types of coronaviruses. SARS and MERS-CoV may be in the same family as COVID-2019, but they are not the same virus. According to public health officials, COVID-2019 is less deadly than SARS. Although it’s difficult to quantify due to the likelihood of unreported infections (especially early in the outbreak), currently about 2 percent of reported cases have proved fatal (source).
Two of the primary reasons that health officials are concerned about this outbreak is that COVID-2019 spreads fairly easily and it’s difficult to know who is infectious (source). Are infected people that don’t present symptoms already contagious? What about those with mild symptoms? Or do we only need to be worried about the infected people presenting symptoms, like coughing and sneezing? Because experts don’t know who’s likely to spread the virus, controlling it presents a great challenge.
How dangerous is COVID-2019?
Like other respiratory illnesses, COVID-2019 typically produces mild symptoms in infected people: a runny nose, sore throat, coughing, fever, etc. However, the symptoms are more pronounced in some people and may lead to pneumonia, difficulty breathing, and (very rarely) death. People most likely to experience these severe symptoms include the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions, like diabetes and heart disease. As we mentioned above, only 2 percent of reported cases have been fatal.
What are the symptoms of this coronavirus?
According to WHO, symptoms include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Acute respiratory syndrome
- Kidney failure
The incubation period (the amount of time between infection and the appearance of symptoms) ranges from 1 to 12.5 days, but the median is 5 to 6 days.
Can coronaviruses be transmitted between animals and people?
Yes. In fact, experts believe that SARS is an animal virus from an unknown source (perhaps bats) that was transmitted to other animals, including civet cats, which spread the virus to humans in the early 2000s. Several coronaviruses are currently circulating in animal populations but have not yet infected humans.
Although the source of COVID-2019 has not yet been identified, it’s likely that some animal source from a live animal market in China first transmitted the virus to humans. Currently, no evidence connects COVID-2019 to pets, like cats and dogs.
The Transmission of COVID-2019
COVID-2019 spreads primarily through contact with an infected person, so it is important to be extremely cautious if you’re in close contact with infected or potentially infected people.
The vast majority of people infected are in China, where the virus is circulating. People in other countries that are infected with COVID-2019 have traveled from China or live/work closely with someone who traveled from China. To stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak, review the WHO’s COVID-2019 situation reports.
Like all viral outbreaks, this situation is frustrating and frightening for many, but there is one bit of good news: COVID-2019 is fragile and very easy to kill. In fact, you can easily destroy the coronavirus using a basic, disinfecting product. As WHO clearly explains, “Simple disinfectants can kill the virus making it no longer possible to infect people.” So although evidence suggests that this coronavirus can survive on surfaces for a few hours or more, you can kill the virus easily with a proven disinfectant product.
For example, the SafeSpace Germ Fogger is an EPA-approved, hospital-grade contact disinfectant that generates more than 6,000 cubic feet of disinfecting and deodorizing fog. Did a member of your household recently travel to China? Will you soon be staying in a hotel or a cruse ship cabin? Did someone exhibiting respiratory symptoms recently visit your home or office? Consider using the SafeSpace Germ Fogger to eliminate germs in the space. To purchase the SafeSpace Germ Fogger, please click here.
How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus
Cancel nonessential travel to Mainland China.
Because the COVID-2019 outbreak has been concentrated in China, your risk of infection is higher there. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that travelers cancel any nonessential trips to China. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory asking people to avoid travel to China. If you were planning a trip to China, keep an eye on the CDC’s Travel Health Notices.
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent germs from spreading. Clean your hands with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, and then rinse your hands with clean water. If you’ve made contact with the coronavirus, this will eliminate the virus from your hands. Keep in mind that hand sanitizer is not an ideal replacement for diligent hand washing, according to the CDC. It does not get rid of all types of germs, and it isn’t as effective as hand washing. Only use hand sanitizer if you’re in a situation in which soap and water are not available.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
If you’re unwell, coughing and sneezing will disperse your germs into the air, where they may infect the people around you. Use a flexed elbow or tissue to cover your mouth (and discard the tissue in a closed bin afterward). Then, wash your hands.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Your hands touch many surfaces throughout the day, which increases the likelihood that they’ll become contaminated with a virus. So in addition to washing your hands frequently, try to avoid touching your hands to your eyes, nose, and mouth. If your hands are contaminated, this reduces the likelihood that your hands will transfer the virus to your body.
Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
According to the WHO, it’s important to avoid the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products at this time. Handle your food with care to avoid cross-contamination.
Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms.
If you see someone coughing, sneezing, blowing their nose, or displaying other symptoms of a respiratory illness, try to stay at least three feet away. If you’re too close to the person, you may breathe in tiny, airborne droplets containing the virus.
Be cautious when visiting live animal markets.
Because the coronavirus can transfer between animals and humans, the WHO recommends that you avoid touching live animals at markets. In addition, do not touch anything the animals come into contact with, including their waste and any fluids. After leaving the market, wash your hands thoroughly.
Wear a mask in certain situations.
First of all, the CDC does not recommend that healthy people wear masks to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-2019. Only wear a mask if (1) you have respiratory symptoms and suspect you’ve contracted COVID-2019, (2) you’re caring for someone with respiratory symptoms and suspect COVID-2019, (3) you’ve traveled to an area of China where COVID-2019 has been reported, or (4) you’ve been in contact with someone who has traveled to an area of China where COVID-2019 has been reported.
Visit your doctor if you suspect you’re unwell.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, seek medical attention early, and be sure to notify your health care provider if you have recently traveled to China or been in contact with someone who has. While there isn’t currently a medicine available to treat this novel coronavirus, your doctor can treat your symptoms and help you prevent the spread of the virus.
Finally, if you want to protect yourself and your family against dangerous viruses like COVID-2019, explore the products offered by SafeSpace. The SafeSpace Company is a family-owned small business proudly selling American-made germ foggers, auto germ and odor eliminators, and alcohol-free hand sanitizers to keep your family safe and healthy. With the recent coronavirus outbreak, it’s more important than ever to practice healthy hygiene habits.
For more information about SafeSpace, contact us online or call us toll-free at 1-800-735-2506.
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