March 10, 2020
BCBSTX Coronavirus and What it Means
Coronavirus and What It Means
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses have been around for decades and are perhaps best known for causing illnesses like the common cold, with symptoms like coughing, sneezing and other upper respiratory issues. In late 2019, a new coronavirus was discovered.
What can you do to keep yourself and others healthy?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid
being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help
prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- 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.
- If 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.
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
- Shortness of breath
What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?
- Seek medical advice if you have recently traveled to a level 3 country as identified by the CDC and feel sick. Please visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
- Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
Do I need to go to the emergency room (ER)?
Not usually. If you are not sure if you need to go to the ER, call your health care provider.
For more information
The CDC is a great resource for up-to-date information about COVID19. Please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.