Coronavirus Disease 2019
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019, also referred to as COVID-19, is a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of virus. This family of coronavirus includes COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), as well as four other common coronaviruses – which cause general cold symptoms.
COVID-19 symptoms appear two to 14 days after exposure and can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
This virus has the potential to cause severe illness in some individuals.
Who is at risk?
Children do not seem to have the same level of risk as others when it comes to COVID-19, according to the Center for Disease Control. Those with higher risk include older adults and people who have underlying health conditions such as heart, lung and immune disease.
How can you prevent COVID-19?
While there is no vaccine currently available to prevent COVID-19, there are measures that you and your family can do to help prevent the spread of the virus.
- Limit exposure. Stay away from public places as much as possible. If you and your family do need to go out, stay six feet away from others.
- Wash your hands frequently. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you cough, sneeze or blow your nose and after you have been in a public place. If soap and water and not available, use hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Rub hands together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Disinfect and clean frequently touched surfaces daily. These surfaces include tables, countertops, handles, desks, phones, toilets, sinks, light switches, etc.
If you or a family member feel sick, it is best to stay home, except if medical care is needed. If you have any questions about your personal health or when to seek care, please contact your physician’s office.
How is COVID-19 treated?
urrently, there are no FDA-approved medications to treat COVID-19. Should an individual become infected, it is recommended to rest, drink plenty of fluids and, if needed, take medication to reduce and control a fever.
If you believe you may have COVID-19, please call ahead to the clinic before walking in.
How is COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is mainly spread through person-to-person contact and respiratory droplets.
Respiratory droplets are produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs. These droplets may land on or in the mouths or noses of individuals nearby and then enter the lungs.
Though it is less common, individuals can also get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object with the virus on it, and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose.
How can your family cope with COVID-19?
Boys Town Hospital strives to be a community resource in this time of uncertainty. Parents can visit Boys Town’s Coping with the Coronavirus Guide for daily tips on home learning, self-calming and more.