Coronavirus – Covid-19 continues to spread across the country. UNLV Medicine is here to care for you and our community. We are ALL in this together.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this pandemic.
1. Who is at risk?
Everyone is at risk. For most of us, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms of fever, cough, and perhaps body aches. Older adults and individuals with existing health problems like heart disease or lung disease may develop a severe illness including shortness of breath and/or pneumonia. If you have mild symptoms, stay at home and contact your UNLV Medicine physician. If you develop a high fever, worsening cough and/or shortness of breath, you should seek immediate medical care.
2. What can I do to prevent myself from contracting the virus?
Do not participate in any group activities – even if outside. If you MUST be with a GROUP of people outside your home, practice social distancing of at least 6 feet. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water (for a minimum of 20 seconds) or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Sanitize high-touch surfaces (phone, light switches, door handles, remotes, game controllers, etc.) with a sanitizing wipe (such as a Clorox wipe) or use a mild solution of soap or bleach. (Be careful in using cleaning chemicals in enclosed spaces, as improperly used chemicals can cause eye or throat irritation or breathing problems). If you cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue and then discard it.
3. What if I am caring for someone in my home who is infected with the virus?
First, do not panic. Isolate the sick person from other people in the household if possible. Minimize the number of people living in the home who have contact with the person infected. As stated above, wash your hands frequently and sanitize surfaces as possible. Avoid sharing household items or eating utensils. Face masks are recommended for individuals with the infection to prevent droplets from spreading from them to others. If you do not have a mask, a scarf or bandana may provide some protection against spreading the disease to others in the household. The care taker if not sick DOES NOT need to use a face mask.
4. What can I do to remain physically and emotionally well?
Get outside! You will need to remember to practice safe social distancing of at least 6 feet. Go on a hike, a walk, bike or run. If you are not walking now as part of your daily routine, this is a fantastic way to start getting active. There are plenty of friendly and safe workout routines for the novice to the advanced on various social media platforms including YouTube. Stay in contact with family and friends.In lieu of gatherings, text and call your social connections during this time.Your friends and family will benefit from a kind word and encouragement as much as you will.
5. How long will this last?
The most optimistic epidemiologic forecasts suggest the virus will peak in late April or early May. It will take weeks or maybe months for daily life to return to normal. For now, focus on today and working to assure your health as well as the health of your family and our community.
Additional information and resources may be found at the United States https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html and https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/