COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Coronavirus is a new virus that has not been previously identified. On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease.

On March 11, 2020, WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Two days later, the United States declared a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 outbreak.

Impact

COVID-19 pandemic has wrecked unprecedented global health havoc on humanity. The pandemic has destroyed individual lives, families, communities and the world. Thus far,* there are 10.7 million confirmed cases of the virus and 517, 000 deaths around the world have been reported. In U.S. COVID-19 has infected over 2.6 million people and killed 128,000, and counting. Sadly, these numbers are increasing by the day. The devastation is counting. Some analysts assert that COVID-19 has killed more Americans than died during the first world war, Korean war and Vietnam war.

Spread

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. Armed with knowledge, you can protect yourself and others from infection. Knowing how the virus spreads is the first attack against COVID-19.

  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
    • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Please note that this list does not include all possible symptoms. Health authorities continue to update new symptoms as we learn more about the diseas

Prevention

There are concrete and specific actions you can take to prevent the spread of corona virus. We can all do our part to stop the spread of the virus.

WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

AVOID CLOSE CONTACT

  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
  • Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.

COVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE WITH A CLOTH FACE COVER WHEN AROUND OTHERS

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

COVER COUGHS AND SNEEZES

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

CLEAN AND DISINFECT

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

MONITOR YOUR HEALTH DAILY

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
  • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Many clinical trials evaluating potential treatments for Covid-19 are ongoing. In May 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) allowing for remdesivir to be distributed in the U.S. and to be administered intravenously by health care providers, as appropriate, to treat suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients hospitalized with severe disease. The safety and efficacy of remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 continue to be evaluated. Preliminary clinical trial results have shown that on average, patients treated with remdesivir had more rapid time to recovery.

Additional Resources

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

World Health Organization (WHO)
https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_2
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
MD Department of Health
https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/

*Note: Data as of July 2, 2020

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