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5 things to know about the coronavirus

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Posted at 9:18 AM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 15:08:55-05

Novel Coronavirus. Those are scary words these days. A total of six people in Washington have died from the virus this weekend, the first deaths from the virus in the United States. Many more have been diagnosed with the virus in several parts of the U.S.

Here are the five key facts you need to know when it comes to the novel coronavirus.

Prevention
The easiest way to put it: go about the normal ways you would to avoid getting sick from a coworker, spouse, or friend.

According to the CDC these are some of the things you should be doing:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Symptoms
This can be tricky since the CDC said a lot of symptoms are similar to a common cold - fever, shortness of breathe, and coughing. Plus, it's unclear how long symptoms could last.

  • The only way to get a confirmed diagnosis is by going to your doctor who then gets a CDC prescribed test.
  • Unfortunately, there isn’t a antiviral cure or even a vaccine, yet.
  • If you think you have it, call a doctor immediately. Before you get tested, play it safe and stay home. Stay away from others.

Packages
The CDC said you shouldn't have to worry about getting packages from infected areas, "because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures."

Myths
There are things on the internet that claim to kill the virus or prevent it from spreading; however, the World Health Organization said many of those claims are untrue.

Things that will not kill the virus according to WHO are:

Influenza
The regular old flu is still much more of a concern for Americans than the coronavirus. The CDC said about 16,000 people have died from influenza this flu season. If anything, that should be your concern right now.

What you need to know is this: It's unknown how the coronavirus will affect the U.S.

The CDC said it has a strong chance of making it here. To prevent getting the flu or the novel coronavirus, it's important to take the necessary and common-sense precautions you have always taken to prevent getting sick. If that is done, your chances of becoming sick decrease.

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