Coronavirus Outbreak: Do’s and Don’ts
In 2002 and 2003, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic affected about 8,000 people and 26 countries. The SARS outbreak lasted about 6 months. The MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak of 2015 lasted around two months affecting 186 people and killing 38 people. Public health scares like the current coronavirus outbreak are nothing new.
A widespread public health scare can sometimes lead to widespread misinformation. There is a lot of confusion and panic around this most recent pandemic of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 or novel coronavirus (nCoV). We will look at the background of this disease and what you should and should not do in preparation for this outbreak.
What is Coronavirus COVID-19
COVID-19 stems from Coronaviruses (CoV). Coronaviruses are a family of viruses. There are many different kinds of viruses. Some cause the common cold while others cause more deadly illnesses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) named this recent eruption of coronavirus COVID-19. “COVI” refers to “coronavirus”. “D” stands for “disease”. “19” is for the year it was identified. COVID-19 has a 1-14 day incubation period. This means the time between contracting the virus and showing symptoms of the disease. The average incubation period is around five days.
COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since the outbreak, it has spread to over 60 countries around the world. There have been over 88,000 reported cases and about 3,000 deaths.
Symptoms of the coronavirus include:
- Aches and pains
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry cough
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
Coronavirus vs. Flu
There are some similarities between COVID-19 and influenza. For instance, both are contagious viruses. Both cause respiratory illness. COVID-19 and the flu share similar symptoms. They also share similar preventative measures.
However, the two are different. For one, we know much more about the flu than we do about COVID-19. Here are some other key differences:
- The coronavirus is more contagious than most strains of the flu.
- Children infected with the flu can become severely ill. Young children infected by the coronavirus have mild or no symptoms.
- There is a vaccine and four prescription medications for the flu. The coronavirus has no treatment or vaccine.
- As the weather warms, the flu retreats. There is no information about whether this is true for the coronavirus.
- The coronavirus is caused by one virus. Several different types and strains of influenza viruses cause the flu.
- Typical flu symptoms are a runny nose or sore throat. Most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Coronavirus Outbreak Locations Worldwide
Fortunately, Nevada has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus. As of now the risk level in Nevada is low. However, Governor Steve Sisolak said that plans are in place in the event of a confirmed case.
State agencies like the Nevada Department of Public Safety are working together in preparation for the coronavirus. The Southern Nevada Health District is also helping to prepare for any potential coronavirus cases in the state. The state has the capability to test for COVID-19. And a large-scale operation is in place to detect a case early and contain the ill person.
Although there are no cases in Nevada, there have been 28 cases in neighboring California and a total of 73 cases nationwide.
Confirmed Cases in U.S.
Out of the 73 current confirmed cases in the U.S. there are two confirmed deaths from COVID-19. Two cases at a nursing home located in a Seattle, Washington suburb lead officials to believe the virus has been spreading undetected for weeks.
- Arizona – 1
- California – 28
- Illinois – 3
- Massachusetts – 1
- Nebraska – 13
- Oregon – 1
- Rhode Island – 1
- Texas – 11
- Utah – 1
- Washington – 12
- Wisconsin – 1
Confirmed Cases Internationally
Aside from China, sustained local transmission of the virus has been reported in South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran. The CDC is recommending certain travel restrictions. They are advising against travel to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. The CDC is advising older and at-risk travelers to avoid traveling to Japan.
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- San Marino
- Sri Lanka
- The Republic of Korea
- United Arab Emirates
Our Las Vegas firm wants you to know that should you need a lawyer for issues relating to COVID-19, you can take advantage of our free consultation. Call us at (702) 857-6000. You can also speak to us about personal injury, wrongful death and more accident cases where you were the victim due to the action (or inaction) of others. You don’t have to accept a settlement – let us help you instead. Call (702) 857-6000 today.
What You Should Do
As of now there is no vaccine for COVID-19. However, there are recommended preventative actions you can take to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like the coronavirus.
Wash Your Hands
Remember to wash your hands often, especially before cooking or eating, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or, if soap and water are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Stay in Your Personal Space
Try to avoid contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, try to limit your contact with others as much as possible. If you can, it’s best to stay at home.
Clean + Disinfect
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs. For example, shared work spaces, computer keyboards, and doorknobs should be cleaned with a household cleaning spray or wipe. It is not certain how long the virus can survive on surfaces. However, studies suggest that the coronavirus can persist on surfaces for a few hours.
Stock your Medicine Cabinet
Make sure you have basic pain and fever relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen. If you or your loved ones take prescription medication, make sure to have enough supply on hand in the case of a pandemic.
Stock your Kitchen
In case COVID-19 is declared a pandemic, Ready.gov suggests having a 2-week supply of food and water. Include shelf-stable foods like beans, rice, and pasta. You can also freeze food like meats, vegetables, cooked grains and bread.
See a Doctor
If you feel like you’re showing signs of the virus or you aren’t feeling well, call the doctor. The sooner you seek help, the less likely you will spread the disease to others.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Don’t Travel to China
China is the epicenter of this current coronavirus scare. Traveling to China would put you at a high risk of contracting the virus.
Don’t Use Face Masks
There is no conclusive evidence that face masks prevent being infected by the coronavirus. The CDC does not recommend their use for the general public. With the outbreak scare, there is a worldwide face mask shortage. Unless you are caring for an infected person at home, save face masks for healthcare professionals and people who are sick.
Don’t Touch Your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible. This is how germs and viruses can spread. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue so that you cover your nose and mouth without using your hands.
Although news of the coronavirus spreading should not be taken lightly, there is no need to panic. The coronavirus is very contagious but not as deadly as other outbreaks. The death rate for MERS was about 34% and about 10% for SARS. The death rate in China for COVID-19 is about 2%. The average age of those who died were in their 70s. Most COVID-19 cases cause only mild illness.
If you are not in an area where the virus is spreading, like Nevada, then the chances of getting it are low. If you haven’t travelled to an area where the virus is spreading, then you are also at low risk.
About Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys Anthem Injury Lawyers
Award-winning personal-injury law firm Anthem Injury Lawyers is a team of experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyers and case managers based in Henderson, NV. We serve Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Reno and Clark County. Anthem has over 25 years of experience representing clients across a range of personal injury cases. Our lawyers handle auto accidents, drunk driver accidents, bus accidents, wrongful death cases and more. We also specialize in employment law claims. It can be hard to know when to contact a lawyer. Sometimes people hesitate because they think they will have to pay a consultation fee.
We offer free case evaluations. Our office is conveniently located in Henderson. However, we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley, including North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Spring Valley, Anthem, and the Strip. Contact us today for a free consultation at (702) 857-6000.