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Coronavirus: How to Be Safe

Coronavirus FolderIf you’re getting tired of hearing about the coronavirus, you’re in good company. For the past several months, writers, news anchors and talk show hosts have been covering the topic ad nauseum. But, like it or not, the subject probably won’t likely disappear from headlines anytime soon. As of the time of this writing, Worldometer reports that 80,377 people have been diagnosed with the illness, officially named Covid-19. The death toll stands at 2,707. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are four main sub-groupings:

  • Alpha
  • BetaCoronavirus Diagram
  • Gamma
  • Delta

Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s. People often get infected with human coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1. And, sometimes, coronaviruses that infect animals can evolve and make people sick and become a new human coronavirus. Three recent examples of this include: 2019-nCoV, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV.

Influenza vs CoronavirusThe Flu May Pose a Greater Risk

Despite the hype, most experts agree that Influenza may actually pose more of a risk to the average man or woman than the coronavirus. Consider that, in the U.S. alone so far this season, the flu has caused an estimated 26 million illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths. On the other hand, the average person runs an extremely low risk of catching the novel coronavirus.

How to Stay HealthyGood Health Avoid coronavirus

The only advantage of the flu over coronavirus is that scientists understand influenza more than they do Covid-19, which is relatively new. In both cases, however, common sense approaches can keep you safe.

Coronavirus Symptoms

Fever Coronavirus Flu SymptomsSymptoms can include a cough, possibly with a fever and shortness of breath. There are some early reports of non-respiratory symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Many people recover within a few days. However, some people — especially the very young, elderly, or people who have a weakened immune system — may develop a more serious infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

Flu Symptoms

Usually comes on suddenly and includes some (or all) of the following symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chillsHeadache Coronavirus
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Wash Hands Health CoronavirusHow to Avoid Catching the Coronavirus and/or the Flu

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue (then throw it away), or your inner elbow.Sneeze into sleeve Coronavirus
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
  • Stay home from work or school if you have a fever.
  • Avoid people who show signs of a respiratory tract infection, such as runny nose, coughing, and sneezing.
  • It’s still not too late to get a flu shot, an easy step toward avoiding the flu. If you do catch the flu despite having received the vaccine, studies show that severe illness, hospitalization, ICU admission, and death are less likely to occur than for people who contract the flu without the benefit of vaccination.

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