Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.
The CDC recommends that individuals, especially those with frequent travel, should follow these recommended preventive measures:
1. Stay home when you are sick with influenza-like illness. Stay home if ill with influenza-like illness until at least 24-hours after being free from fever.
2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
3. Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
4. Cover your coughs and sneezes. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
5. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
6. Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean. For example, telephones, computer equipment, etc.
7. Try not to use other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment. If necessary, consider cleaning them first with a disinfectant.
8. Practice other good health habits. Attention to rest, diet, exercise, and relaxation helps maintain physical and emotional health.
The CDC reports that the symptoms to watch for include fever, cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, body aches, sore throat or vomiting and diarrhea. Health experts tell us that coronaviruses in general are spread through close contact — a range of about 3 to 6 feet. The virus is primarily spread through a sick person coughing or sneezing on someone. If you have concerns about possible exposure or symptoms contact your primary care health provider for medical advice.
We urge everyone that may be considering domestic or international travel to consult the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) and also the US State Department site (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html) to understand the stated risks and level or caution urged by authorities. I have also attached two relevant factsheets from the CDC.
Please refer to the following link for more information from the CDC and please check back often as there will be continuous updates: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
The California Department of Public Health has also released information about the virus and safety tips we should all adhere to: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/nCOV2019.aspx
The World Health Organization has advice for health workers and for the public: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public