On Tuesday the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a series of updates regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the United States of America.
Cases have been reported in 13 states, including California – 29 cases – Washington – 27 cases – and less than 5 cases each within the states of Oregon, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
In total, 80 cases have been documented, with 24 being related to overseas travel, 16 being through interpersonal communication of said disease, and the remaining 40 remaining under investigation.
Those who are most at risk of spread of the illness tend to be the elderly, those with preexisting respiratory conditions including lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, and other immune system compromising conditions. Those most often infected are the elderly, with most severe cases in the United States occurring in a long-term care facility within Washington State, including the first fatality from the condition and the first infection of a health care worker within the U.S.
COVID-19 has ranged in severity, with mild cases making up the majority of reports.
Symptoms are often shortness of breath, cough, and a feverous body temperature. The disease is spread via respiratory droplets resulting when an ill individual coughs or sneezes. Such droplets have chances of being inhaled into the lungs of those within a 6-foot radius or may result in external contamination that may make its way into the body through the mouth and nose.
Minnesota State University, Mankato recently released a briefing regarding the spread of general illness, and mention COVID-19. However, Director of Student Health Services Wendy Schuh reassures students that “it is important to know that no one on our campus has tested positive for COVID-19, and also that generally the risk of anyone on our campus becoming sick with coronavirus disease is very low.”
Additionally, of those who come in contact with the virus, “80% of people who contract COVID-19 will feel like they have a really bad cold and be able to fully recover at home; 20% may get very sick and require hospitalization.”
Both MNSU and the CDC stress the need for general hygienic practices to be followed. It is imperative that we follow everyday preventative actions, such as, “Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.”
In the instance that “Soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.”
In addition we must “avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you are sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.”
Header photo courtesy of Center for Disease Control’s Facebook page.