When it comes to the new coronavirus outbreak, there’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is that it’s probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
But, don’t panic!
The good news is that we have a pretty good understanding of the coronavirus and there are some really easy things we can all do to keep ourselves and our clients safe.
What are coronaviruses?
The CDC explains, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals.” Most people get infected with one or more coronaviruses at some point in their lives. In fact, if you’ve ever had a common cold, you probably had a coronavirus.
The coronavirus outbreak that is currently spreading around the world is known as “coronavirus disease 2019” or “COVID-19” for short.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and can include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some people may have the virus without any symptoms at all.
- 81% of people infected with COVID-19 so far have experienced mild symptoms.
- 14% of cases were severe (marked by difficulty breathing), and
- 5% were critical leading to respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction or failure.
How does it spread?
There are two ways coronavirus is spread; person to person, and contact with infected surfaces.
- Person-to-person: The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another. Droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes can travel up to 6 feet away. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses (or become inhaled into the lungs) of people who are nearby.
- Contact with infected surfaces: Droplets from an infected person can also land on surfaces or objects. When an uninfected person touches the surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their own mouth, nose, or eyes, the virus enters the uninfected person.
What is the Caregiver’s role in prevention?
As citizens, we ALL have a responsibility to do what we can to prevent the spread of the virus. But, caregivers play an even more critical role. Caregivers have access to many of our nation’s most vulnerable people—the elderly, disabled, and frail.
In some cases, caregivers may be the only link between a client and the outside world. That means they must do what they can to keep themselves healthy so they do not infect their clients. And they have to be able to recognize the symptoms and get help early for anyone showing signs.
A FREE HANDOUT FOR YOUR TEAM!
Download our new Coronavirus Handout for a few easy to follow guidelines caregivers can follow to keep everyone safe.