Whether you’re on social media, reading your local newspaper, or talking to a family member, it’s likely that COVID-19 will come up. Although it’s a constant topic of conversation, it’s important to stay informed and know what you can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and how to protect yourself. Keep reading to learn more!
How does COVID-19 spread?
Since there is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus (COVID-19), the next best thing is to understand how it spreads. The virus is thought to spread through person to person contact.
When someone who is infected with COVID-19 comes into contact with someone, they can spread the virus through respiratory droplets. These droplets are produced when someone infected with the virus either coughs or sneezes.
The droplets can then land in the noses or mouths of people nearby. They can also potentially be inhaled into the lungs. As COVID-19 spreads through close contact with other people, this is why social distancing and self-quarantining has become so important. The virus can take 2-14 days before symptoms appear after exposure.
How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself from COVID-19 is washing your hands with soap and water often. When washing your hands, make sure you wash them for at least 20 seconds after you have been in a public area, after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing.
If soap and water aren’t available, the next best thing is to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol.
When using hand sanitizer, make sure to cover all surfaces of your hands. Rub your hands together until they feel dry.
It may seem difficult, but do your best to avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth) if your hands are unwashed. If you do have to touch your face, make sure to wash your hands again after.
If you’re sick, stay home unless you need to leave to get medical care. If you do have to leave, avoid using public transportation, taxis, or any kind of ride-sharing to avoid getting other people sick.
If other people live in your home, stay away from others as much as possible. Designate a specific “sick” room that keeps you away from other people in your home.
If you must see your doctor, call them ahead of time to let them know you are coming in and may have COVID-19. This will give them time to prepare.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 I should watch out for?
In almost 80% of cases of COVID-19, patients have had mild cases. But for the other 20%, COVID-19 can lead to severe illness and even death. Symptoms to watch out for include:
- Shortness of breath
These are symptoms that may appear 2-14 days after exposure. This is based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses. If you develop any of the following emergency warning signs, seek immediate medical attention:
- Bluish lips
- Having trouble breathing
- Experiencing any new confusion or an inability to wake up
- Having persistent pain or pressure in your chest
These are not the only emergency warning signs for COVID-19 that patients may experience. Let your doctor know if you experience other symptoms that seem alarming or severe.
Have questions about your eyes during this uncertain time? Schedule a virtual appointment at Shepherd Eye Center in Las Vegas, NV. We’re happy to answer any questions using our new telemedicine services.