The current pandemic that is sweeping across the United States, including Ohio and the Greater Cincinnati Area, is caused by a novel (new) coronavirus named COVID-19.  This virus was first detected in China and is thought to have originally derived from bats.  The United States is now experiencing “community spread” as thousands of Americans have been confirmed to have the infection and there have been over 250 deaths.

The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, a dry cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. CALL your doctor’s office if you are experiencing symptoms that concern you. Go to the hospital if you have severe symptoms, otherwise follow the instructions that you get from your doctor’s office. The diagnosis can only be confirmed by proper testing. Your doctor will tell you if you require testing. Most people who have the coronavirus infection experience only mild symptoms and some individuals may be totally without symptoms. Unfortunately, people who have pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic lung diseases, or disorders which suppress the immune system are much more prone to develop severe symptoms, resulting in hospitalization of even death.

A recent report from the Kaiser Foundation stated that “With 4 out of every 10 people in the U.S. at higher risk of serious illness if they are infected with coronavirus, these estimates confirm the need to take unprecedented efforts to minimize the spread,”.  Therefore, it is imperative that citizens over 60 and all of those in the high-risk group “STAY HOME”. 

Recommendations for everyone includes:

            – stay home if you are feeling sick

            – avoid being in groups of more than 10 people

            – do not stand closer that 6 feet from anyone else (proper social distancing)

            – wash your hands with soap and water, for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer after any contact

            – cough or sneeze into tissue or your sleeve at elbow (wash your hands)

            – don’t touch your eyes or face

There are numerous guidelines and recommendations from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) which are available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html.

Developments regarding this pandemic disease are changing rapidly, so be you own advocate by keeping up with recommendation at the CDC website or by phone at 1 (800)232-4636.

The Coronavirus Task Force has developed basic current measures to be followed over the next 15 days.  Measures to slow down the progression of this disease in the United States must be implemented NOW!

Go to Whitehouse.gov to view the President’s Guidelines for America—15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)