The pandemic that the world is facing nowadays, most commonly known as the Coronavirus, has caused a serious panic for everyone. Mind you, it’s a very contagious disease! The main sources of its spread are the water droplets from a person’s nose and mouth.
Laymen like you and I need to understand the seriousness of this disease. Most importantly the safety of wearing a mask during Covid-19 should be taken seriously.
Here is the latest from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and the National Foundation for Infectious Disease.
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What is COVID-19?
We hear the terms COVID-19 and Coronavirus but what does this mean? First, let’s understand that Coronavirus is not a single virus and there are many types of human coronaviruses. Coronavirus is a group of viruses that cause diseases in animals and humans (first identified in humans in the mid-1960s). The actual name is Coronavirus Disease 2019.
COVID-19 stands for CO (Corona) VI (Virus) D (Disease) 19 (the year).
According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases,
“A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the disease Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in a seafood and poultry market in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019. Cases have been detected in most countries worldwide, and on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized the outbreak as a pandemic. Human-to-human transmission occurs through close contact.”
What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms for COVID-19 can range from none to severe.
Asymptomatic – A person who is COVID-19 asymptomatic has the infection, however, they do not show any symptoms.
Pre-symptomatic – A person who is pre-symptomatic has the infection but has not shown symptoms yet.
Although a person who is either asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic has not shown signs, they do have the virus and can/may spread it to others.
For those that show symptoms according to the CDC website, they may exhibit:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Note: This is not an exhausted list. The experts are still learning and adding as more information becomes available.
What Are Underline Health Conditions?
When it is said that those with underline health conditions are at greater risk for severe illness; what are those underline health conditions? Well, first let’s understand what is meant by “severe illness.” According to the CDC website, severe illness related to COVID-19 is when a person is admitted to the ICU, intubated, or placed on mechanical ventilation, or death.
A list of underline health conditions (not an exhausted list) consists of:
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Heart Conditions (Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, or Cardiomyopathies)
- Immunocompromised State (Weakened Immune System)
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
At What Age Are You at Higher Risk for Severe Illness?
We hear that those who are older are at higher risk for more serious complications due to COVID-19. But what age is considered older? According to the CDC website, those that are in their 50s are at a great risk than those in their 40s. This stands to reason that those in their 60 are at greater risk than those in their 50s and those in their 70s more so than those in their 60s. But the CDC does say that those aged 85 and older are at a greater risk of severe illness and complications more than others.
8 out of 10 COVID-19 related deaths in the US are those aged 65 and older.
How to Keep Yourself Safe
- As difficult as it may seem, one way to remain safe is to limit your interactions with other people. But when you need to interact with others, practice social distancing and stay 6 feet apart from others.
- Wash your hands with soap regularly and use hand sanitizer.
- Be sure to avoid those who do not have a mask covering their nose and mouth.
- The best way to keep you protected from this deadly virus is by covering your nose and mouth with a mask. The tiny mucous droplets can easily enter your body if the dangerous areas on your face are uncovered.
Even if you are not sick, you still should be wearing a mask whenever stepping out of your home. This way you will remain safe as well as the people around you.
Disposable protective masks are made for your daily use to cover your nose and mouth. It provides you with a protective barrier against several viruses, bacteria, and other micro-organisms. You also remain safe from dust particles and polluted air.
Masks being multi-layered are non-woven and according to CDC mask guidelines today, are recommended to be used by everyone. Many of you might think that the different layers of the mask might make breathing difficult.
But it does not let you suffocate rather it is highly breathable if you wear it properly.
To avoid the spread of this highly transmissible virus, everyone should make provisions to stay safe. This is not only about you, but others that you may come into contact with.
Safety of wearing a mask during COVID-19 is a big responsibility which you need to fulfill for yourselves and your loved ones.
Avoid unnecessary exposure outside your home to remain safe. Good wishes to you during this difficult time. Hope to see you in my next article.
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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (2020, September 11). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (2020, May 13). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Coronavirus. (2020, November). Retrieved from https://www.nfid.org/infectious-diseases/coronaviruses/