Health Update: Respiratory Viruses, especially Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Part 1
What should you know to protect yourself, your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and loved ones from COVID-19 and other forms of respiratory virus diseases? First step, learn the facts so you can ignore the myths, prevent the spread of misinformation and the virus as well as learn how to adopt healthful ways of managing potential stress and anxiety. As always, verify your information sources. Are these media sites, experts or articles creditable, reputable or evidence-based?

FACTS about COVID-19 is based on the most updated information from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), the US-based CDC and the global agency of World Health Organization (WHO):

1. The name of the virus causing COVID-19 is the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

2. The name of the illness that results from being infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the coronavirus disease 2019 aka COVID-19.

3. This virus spreads from person-to-person contact via droplets transmission especially among folks in close contact or nearness to others which is typically within 6 feet of distance.

4. According to Dr, Cara M. Christ, the Director Arizona Department of Health Services, our state is also experiencing widespread levels of other respiratory viruses such as the influenza virus (Flu) and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).1

5. Commonly experienced symptoms seen within 2-14 days AFTER exposure to this virus are fever, cough and shortness of breath.

6. Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
Update: People at higher risk of getting very sick if infected from COVID-19 has now been identified as older adults (over 60 years), persons with a history of heart disease, diabetes and lung disease and those with a compromised immune systems.
Update: According to Cecile Viboud, an epidemiologist at the US National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Centre shared, “whatever the reason, how easily children transmit the disease despite their relative imperviousness to illness “is directly relevant to the idea of closing schools.” 2 Worldwide, most experts believe that temporary closures of schools slows the progress of COVID-19 and prevents overwhelming of limited critical resources of our health care resources.

Prevention Strategies based on the CDC’s & the Director of Arizona ADHS’ Recommendations:

STAY at home when you are sick to reduce the spread of germs to others especially those folks at higher risk of becoming ill with COVID-19.

Social Distancing: Avoid close contact or physical touch with ANYONE who is ill or sick. This means avoid giving handshakes, fist bumps/knocks, high fives, elbow taps, pinky swears or hugs with persons who are sick or ill, are at high risk of becoming infected if exposed to the virus or suspects s/he have already been exposed to the virus.

WASH your hands often for at least 20 seconds using soap and water after sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, spitting or using the bathroom. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available.
Cover your cough or sneeze by using the bend or crook in your elbow if you are physically able to do so or by using a tissue then throwing that “soiled” tissue away in the waste bin or basket.

DO NOT touch your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty or unclean hands.

Frequently clean and disinfect “touched” surfaces and items like door & faucet handles or knobs, stair & bed railings, keyboards, shared phones, countertops, desktops, electronic remotes, computer screens, etc.

My goal during this period of unpredictability is to keep YOU informed and up-to-date on how to implement prevention and protective measures into your daily activities.
My prayer: May our God of all comfort, peace, mercy and blessings keep you free from hurt, harm, anxiety, stress or confusion. Until we meet again, practice common sense and safety.


1 https://directorsblog.health.azdhs.gov/arizona-public-health-system-preparing-to-respond-to-additional-cases-of-covid-19/

2 https://www.breakingasia.com/news/children-get-less-sick-from-covid-19-but-still-spread-virus/