Coronavirus (COVID-19) Basics

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause respiratory tract infections. Some viruses cause mild colds, while others are more serious.

What is COVID-19?

This new form of coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” or COVID-19.

How Can You Protect Yourself From COVID-19?

Though there is still much to learn about COVID-19, here are some basic precautions (which you would use to prevent any type of illness, such as the flu) to keep in mind:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Limit hand shaking and hugging
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, including work areas
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue and throw that tissue away
  • Consider limiting your attendance at large gatherings
  • Review the CDC Frequently Asked Questions for More
  • Review the World Health Organization (WHO) Advice for the Public

What should you do if you think you are sick with COVID-19?

Most cases of COVID-19 will not mean hospitalization, or even a trip to an emergency department. Hospital care is a resource that should be reserved for those with the most serious symptoms. This protects you from contracting diseases, such as the flu or COVID-19, as well as protecting those in serious need.

If you have recently traveled to any geographic area of concern or were in contact with someone with COVID-19, and you become sick with fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, seek medical care right away. If you have not travelled or been in contact with an infected person, but you have these symptoms and you have a co-morbidity (For example, COPD, lung disease, congestive heart failure, are immuno-compromised, are a transplant recipient, etc.), you should also seek medical care right away. Follow these steps:

  • Call the Kentucky Coronavirus Hotline at 1-800-722-5725
  • Call your doctor or hospital emergency department before you go
  • Tell them about recent travel and close contacts (such as people in your household), who are ill
  • Share information about your co-morbidity
  • Wear a face mask if one is available
  • Follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines

Information: Kentucky Hospital Association

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