The news is scary about the Coronavirus COVID-19 infection that is rapidly spreading worldwide and in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Indiana State Department of Health are working 24/7 to deal with the pandemic, while also educating the public about the disruptions to our daily lives.
They continue to say we should treat this matter seriously as reports of infection grow in our communities.
Recommended actions are similar to the outbreak of influenza and other viruses. This includes planning for temporary closings of schools and other public spaces and postponing or cancelling meetings and other mass gatherings. While the CDC serves as the lead agency for coordinating public action, the Indiana Department of Health has set up information to keep Hoosiers apprised of developments: Click Here
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. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- 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.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Facemasks should be used by people to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Health officials believe at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
If you have traveled out of the country recently and experience any of these symptoms, you should see your physician immediately or go to the emergency room.
Physicians and officials at Johnson Memorial Health continue to monitor developments and will share additional information when it becomes available. If you have questions, we recommend you contact your health care provider.