Recommended Measures to Prevent Transmission of Coronavirus
Contributor: Dr. Manuel A. Arevalo – San Lucas Pediatrics
The novel coronavirus named SARS-Cov-2 has spread rapidly worldwide causing human suffering and economic slowdown in many countries. Viruses are ubiquitous causing many illnesses and the coronavirus is the latest virus to infect humans. The first case of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported in Wuhan, Hubei province of China in December of 2019.
We still do not know the complete clinical picture of the COVID-19. Reports from China suggest that 16% of cases are serious while most cases are mild. Adults and children with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes are at increased risk of serious illness.
We do know that SARS-CoV-2 is spread in respiratory droplets from person-to-person. This means the infected droplets are passed on when someone coughs or sneezes and the droplets reach another person. One can also become infected by touching an infected surface and then touching ones’ face with contaminated hands.
On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic as 118,322 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported worldwide with 4,292 deaths. China has 80,955 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 with 3,162 deaths while the United States of America has 1215 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 with 36 deaths as of March 12, 2020. California has 177 cases with three deaths according to the California Department of Public Health.
The federal government as well as state governments have responded to the spread of COVID-19. Most recently President Trump signed a 8.3 billion dollar law passed by congress to combat the spread of and find a treatment or vaccine for the SARS-Cov-2.
Since January 7, 2020 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) initiated a response to COVID-19 making recommendations to avoid travel to certain countries or in cruise ships, and suspended entry of foreign nationals from China, Iran, many Europeans nations. Also, the CDC have subjected US citizens, residents and their relatives to health monitoring and possible quarantine for up to 14 days.
The CDC website on COVID-19 reports that children are not more susceptible to coronavirus than adults. Children may present with mild symptoms such as cough, runny nose and fever but children with underlying medical conditions may be at increased risk for severe infections. The most severe cases of COVID-19 have occurred in adults, especially in the elderly.
It is important to take preventive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Below are the measures recommended to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2:
- Covering your cough and sneezes with a tissue or your forearm
- Washing your hand with soap and water for 20 seconds or using an alcohol- based hand sanitizers
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to seek medical care.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and object daily with a household detergent
- Staying up to date with vaccinations, including influenza vaccine
For further information on prevention, please refer to the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html
Infectious disease experts predict many more cases of COVID-19 to be reported in the USA as person-to person transmission continues and more people are tested for the virus. So it is important to adhere to the preventive measures mentioned above.
Currently there are no medications approved to treat or vaccines to protect against COVID-19. Prevention is the most effective form available today of limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Manuel A. Arevalo, MD
San Lucas Pediatric Clinic
Dr. Manuel A. Arevalo opened San Lucas Pediatric Clinic in 2007 to serve the needs of children in the Sacramento area. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a B.A. in Economics and then he obtained his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Since completing his pediatric residency from LA Childrens Hospital and U.C. Davis, Dr. Arevalo has been serving the children of Sacramento for over 19 years. He has admitting privileges at Sutter Memorial Hospital, Mercy General Hospital and Methodist Hospital. He also speaks English and Spanish. He is married with two children and he enjoys running half-marathons, traveling and spending time with his family.
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