What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the disease in humans caused by the novel coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause infection in humans and others only in animals. The novel coronavirus is the new strain that has become infectious to humans. The symptoms commonly include cough, fever, shortness of breath and breathing problems. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease appear to be groups that have a higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
The COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to increase. At the time of this blog, the CDC says that the immediate risk for most people in the United States being exposed to the novel coronavirus and contracting COVID-19 remains low.
Who is at elevated risk?
- People who are in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported.
- Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19.
- Close contacts of people with COVID-19.
- Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring.
There is currently no vaccination for COVID-19 and experts say virtually no one has immunity from this new virus. It is important that you practice regular personal health hygiene to protect you and your family from the spread of germs. Good prevention practices include:
- Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then dispose of the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home.
- If you are sick and must go out, try to keep a distance of 6 feet between you and others.
Stormont Vail Health
Stormont Vail Health is prepared to meet the needs of our communities in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19. We are following closely the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and working with local and state health departments, and working closely with our partners in emergency medical services and other services in our community. We have ample supplies, dedicated staff and appropriate hospital treatment rooms and equipment to care for patients with COVID-19.
More information on Coronavirus can be found on our website at: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/