The World Health Organization(WHO) has now classified COVIS-19 as an epidemic. According to WHO, a pandemic is likely. There is no panic yet; however, it is leading up to panic. In this article, I will answer the most frequently asked questions regarding this crisis.

Protective personal equipment is now in a shortage in some places. I can see this creating a crisis for health care professionals. Face masks, gowns, and gloves are all considered personal protective equipment. 

What is Coronavirus 2019 ( COVID_10)?

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can infect humans or animals. There are 7 known types of coronaviruses. Four types are common and they can cause mild to moderate respiratory infections, Two types (SARS and MERS) can cause severe respiratory symptoms. The seventh type is a new strain that was discovered in 2019. This new strain was discovered in China.

How do Coronoviruses spread?

Most people have been infected with a type of coronavirus at some point in their lives. The virus is usually spread from human to human via respiratory droplets as when you sneeze or cough.
If you have close contact with someone who is infected, your chances of being infected are very high. If you touch a surface or object that has the virus, and then you touch your face, nose, or mouth you can contract the disease.
The best way to prevent infection is to have good hand washing. You should wash your hands for at least 15 seconds with friction with a good soap.

Can people in America get COVID-19?

Yes, people in America can get COVID-19. It is a virus just like the flu. To prevent contracting COVID-10, you implement the same precautions as you would with flu precautions. At this time, the virus is not currently spreading in communities according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The risk of infection depends on your exposure. For example, if you have close contact with an infected person or if you care for people with the disease, you have a higher risk of contracting the disease.

Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the United States?

As of 3/5/2020, there are 9 confirmed deaths associated with COVID -19 infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control, this is a fluid situation and there are monitoring and surveillance going on by the hour.

How are coronaviruses diagnosed?

Special tests are needed to diagnose COVID-19 and they are not readily available in all states. Many hospitals and clinics are having to send specimens to the Centers for Disease Control.
The Centers for Disease Control has sent out thousands of tests to healthcare facilities.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

There is no specific treatment. Treatment consists of supportive care and relief of symptoms. However, oftentimes there are secondary infections such as pneumonia. In that case, you would need antibiotics for bacterial infections.facts about COVID 10

What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

Fever, cough, and shortness of breath which are the same symptoms as the flu. Pneumonia is common with the COVID-19 disease.
Seek medical advice if you have traveled to China in the past 14 days and feel sick.

What are the simple things you can do to prevent COVID-19?

There are many things you can do to help prevent this infection. One of the most important ways is to have good handwashing. You should wash your hands at least for 15 seconds with soap.

Avoid close contact with people who are sneezing and coughing. If you have to care for someone with respiratory symptoms use gloves and masks. Of note, regular face masks are not effective. Specialized masks such as N95 are effective.

Have people died from COVID-19?

Yes, there have been 2,867 deaths associated with this virus. However, there have been 9 deaths reported in America as of March 5, 2020, from COVID. However, there are now 18,000 deaths related to the flu in America in the 2020 flu season.

References: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html