Travelers Beware – The Coronavirus is Pandemic

With so many headlines focused on the coronavirus, we asked a registered nurse to share the facts. Here’s what you need to know: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is a respiratory illness.  At press time, thousands of people around the globe have been affected by COVID-19. Thousands have died and the number of infected people is growing rapidly. This is no longer just a virus; it’s a pandemic. More people have died thus far from the coronavirus than from SARS, the last worldwide epidemic.

This is no longer just a virus; it’s a pandemic.

COVID-19, like the flu, can be spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth. Coughing and sneezing can spread the disease. People can contract the coronavirus by contaminating their hands with the virus and then touching their face. Please avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as much as possible. The virus is thought to spread between people who are in close contact — within 6 feet, of an infected person.

Most people will recover from the coronavirus without needing hospitalization.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fatigue, aches and pains, fever, cough and shortness of breath. The incubation period spans from as few as two days to 14 days following exposure. Most people will recover from the coronavirus without needing hospitalization. The elderly and those with underlying serious medical conditions are at a high risk to develop serious illness.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. All travelers, regardless of their destination, should use preventative measures. It is imperative you wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds in hot water with soap. Wash both before and after eating and keep hand sanitizer in your pocket. Clean and disinfect objects you touch frequently. Experts say the virus  can last on a variety of surfaces for up to 72 hours.

Using masks is not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as there is no scientific evidence that wearing a mask is effective.

Check for travel advisories before you depart to a destination. Many countries have closed borders and are quarantining incoming tourists. You certainly don’t want to travel to a country and be quarantined upon arrival. Using masks is not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as there is no scientific evidence that wearing a mask is effective. Special fitted masks, however, are used in medical settings for those in direct contact with infected or potentially infected patients. If you do choose to fly, disinfect your seats, armrests, TV monitors, seat belts and tray tables with alcohol wipes that contain a minimum of 60 percent isopropyl alcohol. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

If you do choose to fly, disinfect your seats, armrests, TV monitors, seat belts and tray tables with alcohol wipes that contain a minimum of 60 percent isopropyl  alcohol.

The Novel Coronavirus 2019 has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information on COVID-19, go to: www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

Donna Scully is a registered nurse with expertise in nursing care, health management and administration. She owned and managed a Canadian organization that was asked by the government to accommodate and provide care to individuals requiring quarantine during the SARS pandemic.

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