Origin: Although many think that the virus originated as the result of eating infected animal meat coming from bats, studies show that the virus originated in a seafood market in Wuhan, China called Huanan.
This could mean that the “stepping stone” for the virus was an animal that transferred the disease to humans, Rachael Rettner, senior writer for Live Science Magazine, said.
Cases near us: As of April 23, St. Louis County reported a death toll of 102 due to the Coronavirus. These deaths have disproportionately affected African Americans and elderly people, Erin Heffernan, from the St. Louis Post Dispatch, said.
In the county, the highest rate of Coronavirus cases near Webster Groves has been mostly in Eureka and as well as several other areas in North County.
How it spreads: Like other viruses such as a cold or the flu, COVID-19 was able to spread more rapidly during the colder months, but this does not mean that it cannot be contracted during warmer months. It’s most commonly transferred from person to person, but the virus can also survive on surfaces anywhere from hours to days.
How to keep safe: Managing overall health is what’s most important when one contracts COVID-19. It’s important to keep the immune system healthy, so this calls for getting lots of rest, eating nutritional foods, and supplements, www.cdc.gov said. One of the most effective ways to prevent contracting the virus is by washing and sanitizing your hands frequently.
According to the CDC’s prevention protocols, one should “Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.”
If soap isn’t available, one should use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Social distancing: One of the most controversial topics involving COVID-19 is the legitimacy of social distancing and its effects on the spread of the virus.
“Social distancing” means “not interacting with anyone outside your household and limiting trips to places where you might interact with other people. It is strongly recommended that you only leave your home for essential travel,” according to urmc.rochester.edu.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, droplets are released into the air and land in the mouths and noses of people nearby. Because it takes a while for symptoms to show, these droplets can be spread from one person to hundreds in a matter of days if one is not properly distanced from others.
When will it be over: People wonder when will this outbreak end. Unfortunately, there is no direct data on the Coronavirus due to it being so new. This means that there is no way for us to tell if there is going to be a decrease/increase in cases when the weather starts getting warmer.
Some people, like Walter Ricciardi (a member of the World Health Organization’s executive council), are hopeful for a recovery happening soon.
“I have the impression that, if we are lucky and all work together, we should be able to get through this by summer. That’s when we should be able to return to a normal life,” Riccardi said in a recent USA Today interview.
Though it is important to be hopeful during these trying times everyone must also think about the worst case scenario. For example, the possibility of a second wave of the illness which will infect more people than our current outbreak.
This is why it is important for everyone to stay safe and secure and to help our healthcare workers and the community by staying inside in order to ensure the disease burden gets lowered.
This is news and opinion editor Elise Wilke-Grimm’s first year on ECHO staff. She is excited to begin work on the ECHO and get lots of chances to write.
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