By now, there is no way that you haven’t heard of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it is rapidly impacting our world. And although the numbers may not feel close to home just yet, that could change as the number of US cases tremendously increases – which they will – as the criteria for testing recently evolved to become more available. So as testing increases, we will see a significant increase in the number of new cases.
Parents with young children are understandably worried because if you are like us, you spend a significant time in public play spaces with young children, pregnant women, and older adults – the groups of people that are typically most susceptible to illnesses. In those same places, you have children swapping germs constantly as children are not known for their impeccable hygiene practices (putting it mildly).
People At Higher Risk – Coronavirus And Older Adults
For most people, the reported illness is anywhere from mild symptoms to death. The CDC advises that older adults and people with severe chronic conditions are particularly susceptible and are at a higher risk of developing a serious COVID-19 illness. Surprisingly absent from this list are children and pregnant women.
Coronavirus And Children
At this time, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible. According to the CDC, “limited reports suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms, and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon.”
Coronavirus And Pregnant Women
There is not information available about the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. However, the CDC reports that pregnant women “experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Pregnant women also might be at risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality compared to the general population as observed in cases of other related coronavirus infections [including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)] and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, during pregnancy.” Furthermore, based on limited case reports, there have also been adverse outcomes for infants, such as preterm birth, reported from women who tested positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy.
Protecting Your Family From Coronavirus
At this point, there is no vaccine and no medications approved to treat COVID-19. Rather, the CDC recommends non-pharmaceutical interventions. In other words, the best way to prevent catching COVID-19 is the same way you prevent catching other familiar respiratory illnesses such as the common cold and the flu. Here are 7 tips for protecting your family from COVID-19.
1. Wash Your Hands
We learn it as early as preschool and it never goes out of style. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
2. Avoid Touching Your Face
Avoid touching your face and whether you admit it or not, picking your nose. And particularly avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
3. Keep Your Environment Clean
Wash and disinfect frequently trafficked or touched areas in your home such as counters, railings, phones, and door knobs. This prevents the spread of when you touch an infected surface and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
4. Stay Home
Stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds because the best way to prevent this illness, is to avoid being exposed. In an age of widespread social media – we will never be that far removed from each other as we have ready access to email and smartphones that give us numerous ways to connect over distances.
5. If You Are Sick, Please Stay Home
Covering your coughs and sneezes is certainly important however, please don’t spread your germs, stay home. Even if symptoms are mild for you they may not be for someone else. We live in a state with the highest percentage of senior citizens which are particularly susceptible to seeing this illness at its worst.
6. Avoid Sick People
This is no time to be timid or anxious about hurting someone’s feelings. Avoid close distance with anyone showing signs of respiratory illness.
7. Stay Informed
So much is still unknown and as the information continues to evolve about COVID-19, it is so important to stay informed. And although that tweet or instagram post is absolutely clever that appears to succinctly lay out the risk posed by COVID-19 on why or why not you should panic, it is not a reliable source to stay informed. Here are some great links to closely follow the latest coronavirus guidelines:
If you have any questions, as always, consult your physician or other qualified health provider.
Stay safe and wash your hands!
For more reading, checkout 8 Things To Know If Your Child Gets In Trouble With The Law.
Source:At Home Flu Prevention – CDC
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