This week we sit down with Dr. Craig Barker with UMC Health System who is the Corporate Medical Director and we are taking a look at the steps everyone can take to prevent illness from Coronavirus.
Here are some of the takeaways from our interview…Avoid being exposed to the virus. The Coronavirus is now spreading from person to person between people who are in close contact with one another. That means closer together than six feet.
Who is most at risk? Asthmatics and older people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions.
It seems like common sense but we all need to be washing our hands much more often that we are used to. It’s simple, use soap and water and wash and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or going to the restroom. If there is no soap and water available use hand sanitizer. Make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If they are sick put at least six feet between you and others (if Coronavirus is spreading). This is extremely important for people who are at a higher risk of getting sick.
If you are sick, stay home. Unless you need medical care and then call your doctors office first before going in. UMC is currently working on a centralized location for people to see a doctor if they think they have the Coronavirus. Do not walk into your doctors office with symptoms of Coronavirus. You could end up sharing it with everyone in the waiting area. Call first. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow…Do not sneeze or cough into your hands. If you use tissues throw them away in a trash can immediately. Then wash your hands again with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is unavailable use hand sanitizer.
In regards to face masks, only wear one if you are sick. Wearing one if you’re not sick won’t protect you. Plus hospital personnel and caregivers who are caring for someone who cannot wear a face mask needs them.
Clean and disinfect any surfaces that are touched regularly. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles. desks, phones, keyboards, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them.
To clean you can use diluted bleach. 5 tablespoons or 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. Follow manufacturers instructions for application and for proper ventilation.
Symptoms of Coronavirus. Dry cough, High Fever, and body aches. Stay hydrated and keep your immune system up by staying healthy.