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Coronavirus: Stepping into new era

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As activities gradually picks up amid global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, public health officials say the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.

Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth, and throw used tissues in a lined trash can. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow — not your hands. Wash your hands immediately.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. Follow CDC guidance.

WHO IS AT A HIGHER RISK?

According to the CDC, early information shows that older adults, people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and individuals of any age with the conditions below are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19:

Those with serious underlying medical conditions

Mostly, people with suspect medical conditions such as heart, lung or liver disease; diabetes; moderate to severe asthma; severe obesity; and chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis are potential victims.

Those with weakened immune system

This includes those undergoing cancer treatment, smoking and having other immunocompromised conditions.

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, it is critical for you to:

Stay home if possible and follow the other steps above. Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.

Call your health care provider if you have concerns or to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications in case you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.

Call a medical professional as soon as COVID-19 symptoms start, if you are at higher risk.

IF YOU ARE SICK

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath, including others.

Keep track of your symptoms, which may appear two to 14 days after exposure, and call to seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen, such as difficulty breathing.

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider immediately.

Mild Illness

Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you are sick:

Stay home and call your doctor for medical advice and before visiting a medical office. Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions should call a health care provider as soon as symptoms start.

  Avoid sharing personal household items, such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding. Wash items thoroughly after using them with soap and hot water.

On your own, clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in your sick room and designated bathroom. Have a healthy household member do the same for surfaces in other parts of the home. If you are sharing a bathroom, clean and disinfect it after each use.

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