While coronavirus 2019 is of serious concern, the greater risk is for people who have recently traveled to China, health care workers caring for COVID‐19 patients, and other close contacts of COVID‐19 patients. It is far more likely that Ohioans will contract flu than COVID‐19, but for those who want the facts, find out the important information you should know about the Coronavirus.
What is this virus?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
How can I prevent COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website
- For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Setting
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
What can I do to protect myself and my family?
People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
What are the symptoms?
The reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of breath
How do you know if you have COVID-19?
The CDC is making available a test specifically to determine whether patients have COVID-19. General testing by your healthcare provider will not identify the novel strain. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days, or in as many as 14 days after exposure. Symptoms can include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Call your healthcare provider if you have these symptoms and have recently travelled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea of if you have these symptoms and have been in close personal contact with someone who has been sick with COVID-19. Unless your symptoms are severe, call your healthcare provider first, rather than showing up in the office or ER. When you call or visit, be sure to note your symptoms and travel history or exposure to a person diagnosed with the virus.
What to Do If You Are Sick With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
Where can I get more information?
For the latest information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, click here or call the Ohio Department of Health’s call center all center. The call center will be open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
Ohio Department of Health COVID-19: Coronavirus.ohio.gov
CDC Fact Sheet – COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf
If you have been in China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, or Iran anytime within the past two weeks, or you have concerns for your health please contact The Ottawa County Health Department at 419-734-6800 for guidance.