As the world grapples with COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), it is critical to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus. Fewer active cases reduce the burden on healthcare systems, allowing more people to gain access to life-saving services.
If everyone practices certain basic methods to prevent transmission, people can make a collective impact against this disease. To protect yourself and your loved ones, you should know how to prevent catching COVID-19.
What Is COVID-19?
The COVID-19 virus is technically called SARS-CoV-2, or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. It is a variant of the original SARS virus. There are many different types of coronaviruses, and some of them cause the common cold. These viruses are called coronaviruses because of their crown-like shape – the word “corona” means crown.
This virus enters the body by infecting the tissues inside the nose and throat. The infection can then spread to the lungs, causing pneumonia and possibly leading to death. That is why you hear about ventilators being necessary for serious cases.
Infected people have the virus in their saliva and other respiratory secretions. Whenever people cough, sneeze, exhale, or talk, small droplets of these secretions remain suspended in the air for a short while; if another person breathes in these particles from an infected person, they become at risk of developing the COVID-19 coronavirus themselves.
How to Avoid Getting the Coronavirus
COVID-19 has a long incubation period: up to two weeks. For some people who are infected, they never develop symptoms but can still transmit the virus to others. During this period, people can unknowingly spread the disease while remaining asymptomatic.
Therefore, in order to protect yourself from exposure to the virus, it is best to practice the following habits until the virus subsides:
Practice Social Distancing
The most effective way to prevent COVID-19 transmission right now is through social distancing, which means staying six or more feet away from any other person – such as while at the grocery store. Droplets containing the virus settle out of the air gradually, so being far enough away from an infected person can drastically reduce your chances of getting the infection.
Observe Proper Hygiene
More than ever, it’s essential for everyone to wash their hands thoroughly. Proper handwashing safely removes any pathogens on your hands, including SARS-CoV-2. Be sure to spend at least 20 seconds washing your hands and to wash fully, including underneath the fingernails.
Always avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth areas. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer for when handwashing is not an option.
If you have recently come from an overseas trip, or if you work in healthcare, self-quarantine in order to avoid the potential of spreading the virus – including to those in your household. To quarantine yourself, find a room inside your home and minimize going out of this area, and do not allow others to come inside the room.
Avoid contact with people, even family members. This is because this virus is so highly contagious. If you are back from an international trip, remain in self-quarantine for 14 days; after this period, you are likely free from the virus.
Get Medical Guidance
In addition to these methods, be sure to work with a skilled and experienced healthcare provider. Dr. Sham Maghout Juratli is a family doctor who practices in Dearborn, Michigan, and she can help you and your entire family prevent COVID-19 and other illnesses. Having access to medical services is particularly important if you have pre-existing conditions that can make you more vulnerable to COVID-19.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sham, call us at (313) 451-8253 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!