With the expanding global outbreak of the respiratory disease COVID-19, which is caused by a new coronavirus, Carson City Health and Human Services wants to remind everyone that the best way to prevent respiratory diseases is to avoid being exposed. The immediate risk of COVID-19 to the general public currently is low. It is important to protect yourself and others from respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19 and the flu, by taking every day preventive actions.
How do respiratory viruses spread?
Respiratory viruses spread person to person through droplets made when people infected with the virus cough, sneeze or talk. They also might spread when a person touches a surface with the virus on it and then touches their eyes, nose and mouth. People infected might be able to infect others before they start having symptoms of an illness and for days after becoming ill. You might be able to spread the illness to someone else before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick.
What can you do to prevent respiratory illnesses from spreading?
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw that tissue in the trash. If you don not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Remember to clean your cell phones.
Wash your hands with soap and water often 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 available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Should you wear a facemask to protect yourself from COVID-19?
At this time, the general use of facemasks is not recommended in our communities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend that people who are not sick wear a facemask. Facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others. CCHHS will update the public if this recommendation changes.
Remember this is “flu season” and the above preventive actions should be followed regularly to minimize your risk of getting a respiratory illness. Another way to protect yourself from the flu is to get a flu shot. Check with your health care provider on their availability of the flu shot or visit CCHHS at 900 E. Long St. for the walk-in clinic from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays.
Carson City Health and Human Services is continuously monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak. For updates and information, visit https://gethealthycarsoncity.org/novel-coronavirus-2019. For additional resources and information about department programs and services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, follow us on Twitter at @CCHealthEd, “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cchhs, follow us on Instagram at @gethealthycarsoncity, call us at 775-887-2190 or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.