The sheer volume of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) media coverage is enough to alarm parents and children alike. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) on February 25, 2020, 80,239 cases of the disease in 33 countries and 2700 deaths have been confirmed, with the vast majority occurring in China. However, a previous study showed that no cases had been found in children aged younger than 15 years ,and two additional small studies in China show that children aren’t particularly at risk.
For confirmed COVID-19 cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include:
• Shortness of breath
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.
Like the flu, COVID-19 is spread primarily via respiratory droplets—little blobs of liquid released as someone coughs, sneezes, or talks. Viruses contained in these droplets can infect other people via the eyes, nose, or mouth—either when they land directly on somebody’s face or when they’re transferred there by people touching their face with contaminated hands.
Because respiratory droplets are too heavy to remain suspended in the air, direct person-to-person transmission normally only happens when people are in close contact—within about six feet of each other, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It could also occur in a medical setting, if someone has to handle respiratory secretions such as saliva or mucus from an infected person. These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water.
There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.
• 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.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
A paper published in The Journal of Hospital Infection earlier this month by researchers in Germany concluded that, based on previous studies of viruses such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, at least some human coronaviruses could remain infective on materials such as metal, glass, or plastic for up to nine days. Ethanol or hydrogen peroxide solutions disinfected the surfaces within one minute, the researchers note in their paper.
Can my air conditioning system be enhanced to help minimize risk?
Although the COVID-19 is spread by droplets and is not an airborne virus, the virus can have adverse effects on people whose immune system is compromised by other illnesses. Air cleaners such as ultra-violet lights and electronic air cleaners can trap or kill viruses and prevent other illnesses that affect the immune system.
Surgi’s suggests that you refer any questions to your physician for recommendations. If it is suggested that adding additional components such as UV lights or electronic air cleaners to your system as a precautionary measure, we will be happy to assist you in the installation of these products.
Call Surgi’s at 469-4232 with any questions. We’re here to help.