Many questions and misinformation exist around the “Coronavirus.” This outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China is now spreading throughout the world and has been verified in Colorado.
The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”) or “The Coronavirus”. SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA based enveloped virus. Enveloped viruses contain a lipid membrane on the cell wall which adheres to the host cell in order to proliferate. This being the case, the cell wall is easily penetrable to most common disinfectants.
Coronavirus is most commonly transmitted from person to person, through droplet nuclei spread out from breathing, coughing or sneezing. Experts believe that this occurs when people are within ~6ft. of each other. Droplets can remain suspended in the air for extended periods and are highly respirable. While questions remain, experts believe the virus can remain viable on surfaces and fomites for up to 9 days.
How contagious is the Coronavirus in Colorado?
As it stands experts believe that every individual who contracts COVID-19 will infect an additional 2.2 people. While people are most contagious when they have active symptoms, it is believed that they are contagious even before symptoms arise.
Prevention & Treatment
There is currently no vaccine to prevent SARS-CoV-2, Coronavirus infection. The CDC believes the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus and recommends everyday preventative actions to help prevent it from spreading:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who appear to be sick
- Stay at home if you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, then wash your hands thoroughly
- Clean and apply disinfectant to commonly touched objects and surfaces
What to do if you think you have the Coronavirus:
First, don’t panic. Most of the people who get this do not get extremely sick. Experts believe that approximately 80% of people who get it don’t need medical treatment. Before you do anything else or buy a miracle cure online, call your health care provider. They can advise you on how serious your symptoms may be.
Don’t go anywhere. This is going to take a herd mentality to protect the most vulnerable in our society. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and stay home.