Whether or not you’ve been sick this flu season, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a growing concern all over the world. Experts from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) say that the best way to protect yourself, however, isn’t to panic, but to be prepared.
Both organizations maintain that outbreaks in our communities are likely to happen, but that with some simple precautionary methods, we can keep ourselves and our families safe from the disease. According to their reports, the coronavirus spreads with close human to human contact (within six-feet distance) and through contact with respiratory droplets that enter the air when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. It’s also possible to get it by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it, and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes — though this is less likely. Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, and trouble breathing.
Below, check out some of the CDC-recommended practices you can adopt starting now to make sure you stay healthy.
CDC Tips for Preventing Coronavirus
- Avoid close contact (remember, at least six feet of distance) with people who are sick or are displaying symptoms like coughing and sneezing.
- Refrain from touching your eyes, mouth, or nose as much as possible.
- Wash and disinfect your hands thoroughly and often. Specifically, the CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, being in a public place, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched often.
- The CDC doesn’t recommend that non-infected persons wear face masks — except for in certain conditions. If you’re a health worker or you are spending time in a hospital or doctor’s office, a face mask could help prevent the spread of the virus.
- Stay home if you’re feeling sick.
- If you’re sneezing or coughing, cover your face with a tissue and immediately discard the tissue in the trash.
In addition to these steps from the CDC, the WHO has also made some suggestions of its own. According to the organization, you should also make sure to practice food safety by thoroughly cooking meat to recommended internal temperatures and cleaning cutting boards, knives, and other kitchen utensils thoroughly and not cross-contaminating foods like raw meat and cooked foods. Other viruses like SARS were shown to spread from animals to humans, and the same is suspected of the coronavirus. Additionally, the coronavirus may have originated at the wet markets in China where meats are sold, so practicing good food hygiene helps to eliminate the possibility of harmful bacterias spreading. The WHO also says you should practice safety when you’re traveling by eating well-cooked food and avoid travel altogether if you’re feeling sick.
And of course, both organizations say that if you’re feeling sick, you should seek medical attention immediately. We’re sure that by applying all these expert tips as well as other immune-boosting tricks, we can all keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy and safe.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.