The coronavirus is now officially known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19. Last week, it spread to countries outside of China. If there is any good news about the contagious disease, it is COVID-19 may be relatively mild.
In its February 28 briefing, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) stated, “It also appears that COVID-19 is not as deadly as other coronaviruses including SARS and MERS. More than 80 percent of patients have mild disease and will recover.”
The Director-General identified the symptoms of COVID-19 stating, “…for most people, it starts with a fever and a dry cough, not a runny nose. Most people will have mild disease and get better without needing any special care.”
Currently, more than 20 vaccines are being developed. In the meantime, there are things you can do to protect yourself. They include:
Washing your hands with soap and water regularly or cleaning them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve – not your hands – when you cough or sneeze.
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Staying home and avoiding travel when you are sick.
Contacting your medical professional when you experience symptoms, which include shortness of breath.
WHO also recommended educating yourself about the coronavirus. Make certain to gather information from reliable sources, such as WHO or the United States’ Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and have healthy skepticism when it comes to unknown sources.
Misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 have been spreading almost as quickly as the virus itself.
The Director-General closed last week’s briefing by saying, “Together, we are powerful…Our greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself. It’s fear, rumors, and stigma. And, our greatest assets are facts, reason, and solidarity.”
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