31 Jan 2020 How to Minimize Catching the Wuhan Coronavirus
A new strain of respiratory coronavirus has been much in the news lately. As of the writing of this blog the Wuhan coronavirus, which originated in China, has been detected in over 10,000 people and has killed more than 213.
According to a recent BBC article, a quarter of coronavirus cases are considered severe. Because of compromised immune systems the severity rate in seniors who are unfortunate enough to catch the virus should be higher, as would be the incidence of serious complications.
Taking the proper precautions to minimize exposure to the coronavirus is no different than it is for other respiratory viral infections, such as the common flu. Still, it is worth reviewing what you and your loved ones can do to protect yourselves. For most of us, none of the following suggestions will be new.
First, avoid contact with people who exhibit respiratory illness symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath and fever. People infected with the virus may be infectious before any symptoms appear. The time between infection and symptoms ranges between one and 14 days.
Second, and I cannot emphasize this enough, wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water when you are outside your home. It is also particularly important to do so whenever you return from any outside activities. If having a restaurant meal outside your home, wash your hands before you sit at the table to eat.
Avoid hand contact with your mouth and nose until you have washed your hands during these circumstances.
We do not currently have a vaccine to give people immunity to the virus. The only option is to prevent people who have become infected from spreading the virus to others. Scientists estimate that each infected person passes the Wuhan virus on to between 1.4 and 2.5 people. Do what you can to ensure that you are not one of these people.