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Understanding Coronavirus, How to Protect Yourself and Get Prepared for it

The Coronavirus, referred to as COVID-19, is a contagious illness that originated in Wuhan City, China, and is currently affecting a growing number of people in multiple countries worldwide. 

While health officials believe that the risk to the general American public remains low, the facts about the illness change daily and we are committed to keeping families informed.

Coronaviruses are the common causes of colds and respiratory tract infections. At the end of 2019, a new type of coronavirus began making people sick in China. You might hear the virus called COVID-19. Some of the first cases were diagnosed in people who had visited a market selling live seafood and animals in China.

MUST READ: Natural remedy for Covid-19

When viruses spread from animals to people, it can take health experts a while to learn the details of the virus and how it spreads and how to tackle it.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to coronavirus:

•    Fever
•    Cough
•    Shortness of breath

Symptoms are a bit like those people have with a cold or the flu. The virus can be more serious in some people, especially if they are sick or have health problems already.

How to Protect Yourself fro Coronavirus:

As at the time of writing this article, there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, however, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection.

The recommended measures by WHO and CDC for avoiding respiratory viruses are as follows:

•    Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
•    Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
•    Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren't clean.
•    Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
•    Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you're sick.
•    Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
•    Stay home from work, school and public areas if you're sick.

How Does Coronavirus (COVID-19) Spread?

Experts are still investigating how COVID-19 spreads. In general, coronaviruses spread through droplets sent into the air when people cough or sneeze. Some people who became sick with COVID-19 lived with others who had the virus.

Is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dangerous to Children?

Experts are still learning about COVID-19, so we don't have a lot of information about it yet. There are far fewer cases of the virus reported in children. Most of them caught the infection from someone they lived with or a family member. The virus seems to cause a milder infection in children than in adults or older people.

But, Contact a Doctor if Your Child:

•    is ill and has traveled to China or another country where lots of people have coronavirus (COVID-19)
•    had contact with someone thought to have coronavirus (COVID-19) within the past 14 days
•    manifests any of the symptoms listed above

it is important to note that right now, measles and the flu are more dangerous for children than COVID-19. Make sure your child is vaccinated against both of these as required. It's not too late yet.

How Is Coronavirus (COVID-19) Treated?

Most people with COVID-19, including children, do not have serious problems. After seeing a doctor, most get better with rest and fluids. People who are very ill get care in a hospital with breathing help, IV fluids, and other treatments.

How Can I Get Ready for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Preparing for coronavirus (COVID-19) means being ready to stay at home for a week or two if need be. You're getting ready in case you or a family member is sick and you have to be home.

Also, if many people get sick in your community, you'll avoid public gathering, long lines at stores and empty shelves later by getting ready now.

What Should I Get to Be Ready for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

•    Food and water. Choose food that doesn't need to be in the refrigerator and can stay good on the shelf for a long time. Buy canned foods and juices, rice, dried beans, granola bars, peanut butter, and dry cereal. Remember baby foods if needed. If you have pets, stock up on what they need too.
•    Foods your family likes when sick. These include things like soup, crackers, and fluids to stay hydrated.
•    Household supplies. Don't forget toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, hand soap, and dish soap.
•    Medicines. Make sure prescriptions are filled and on hand. Get over-the-counter (nonprescription) fever reducers like acetaminophen (Tylenol or store brands) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, or store brands).
•    A thermometer. Depending on your child's age, you might need a digital thermometer, temporal artery thermometer, or electronic ear (tympanic) thermometer.

READ: Coronavirus updates in Nigeria

You do not need to stock up on face masks. Experts say they're not needed to stay healthy. They are needed by sick patients and the health workers caring for them.
What Else Should I Know?

Parents should also get ready in case schools or childcare centers close. Make plans to keep kids busy at home. Talk to your employer to make arrangements in case you must be home.

Work with family members or neighbors on childcare plans. Some people can work from home. Planning in advance can help cut down stress.

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