TWC Corona Virus Memo – Public

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TWC Corona Virus Memo – Public

To: Public – A Preventive Health Memo
Date: March 1, 2020
Re: CORONA VIRUS 

HOW DID CORONA VIRUS COME TO MASSACHUSETTS?
News reported that a UMASS-Boston student returning from China was the first diagnosed with the condition, and that he has recovered. There was a second exposure for several people including international travelers at a Biogen conference. The incubation for corona is bout 2 weeks. Self-quarantine (stay home) is recommended for those returning from China and Italy, or know to have been exposed to someone testing positive. More testing kits are being made available at major hospitals and test centers.

HOW IS CORONA VIRUS SPREAD?
Corona virus spreads like the flu and colds, by coughing and sneezing. It is airborne through mucus and saliva droplets. While officials are not certain if it can also be spread via smaller airborne particles, called aerosols, there is evidence that there has been some spread through air vents on closed systems of cruise ships that have low recirculation rates. CNN also reported that in China, there was some spread through leaking bathroom plumbing that interconnected with other floors in an apartment building.  In addition to coughing and sneezing, spread can occur by touching surfaces that have the virus on it. It is believed that the virus can live on surfaces from 4 to 12 hours.

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?
WASH YOUR HANDS – for at least30 seconds with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer that contains 70% ethyl alcohol, especially after touching public surfaces like buffet utensils, bathroom doors, airport security bins
DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE – Wash your hands before you touch your face for anything.  
USE OF GLOVES – is optional. BUT if you use them, make sure you don’t touch your face while wearing them, and make sure you wash your hands before you put them on and after you take them off.  Remember that you could be accidentally transmitting virus to every surface you touch while wearing the gloves.
USE OF MASKS – is not required unless you are in close contact with someone who has a fever or symptoms, or if you have symptoms and need to prevent sharing your germs with others. The kinds of masks you can find in stores are thin, and provide a weak barrier.  It is unlikely that they provide much benefit, but masks may provide a physical barrier for large droplets coming out towards others. People are using them for travel on airplanes, if they can find them to purchase. Bandanas across your nose and mouth may provide a similar very limited benefit. In any case, when someone near you sneezes or coughs, turn your head away from them and stay turned away for a couple of minutes while the droplets disperse. Do not worry about if it seems rude, you are trying to stay well.
DISINFECTANTS – the key is 70% ethyl alcohol.  If the sanitizer or wipes do not have this on the label, then there may not be full killing action against this particular new strain of Corona virus.
WATER & FODD SUPPLY – if you feel like you are coming down with the cold or flu, have a family member or friend do shopping for you. Get a two-week supply so you can self-quarantine. Telephone your doctor if you had contact with higher risk individual(s) or travel outside the United States, especially China, Asian countries and Italy.
SEEK CARE – For Fever/Flue like symptoms go to an urgent care or ED, especially if you are over 60 or anyone having an underlying reparatory or health condition
Sources:  CNN.com, BostonGlobe.com, NationalGeographic.com, UptoDate.com, CDC.gov

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