Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams was the latest public health official to warn Americans not to buy masks to protect themselves against the coronavirus. But what should you be doing? Experts weigh in on that and other technical aspects of the virus–like how exactly it’s killing its victims.
The New York Times: How To Prepare For Coronavirus: Masks, Washing Hands, Masks And More
The coronavirus continues to spread in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, with more than 70 cases and one death confirmed in the United States. While the Food and Drug Administration announced this weekend that testing in the United States would be greatly expanded, health experts have been warning that the virus’s spread in the country is inevitable. That means it’s time to prepare your home and family in case your community is affected. (3/1)
The Wall Street Journal: How To Prepare For The Coronavirus
Face masks? Zinc? Gloves? Americans are grasping for ways to brace for what public health experts say is inevitable: an outbreak of the new coronavirus. Public health experts advise staying calm and following the same precautions recommended for preventing flu or any other respiratory virus. Stick with the basics: Wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, and stay at home from work or school when you’re sick. (Reddy, 3/1)
San Francisco Chronicle: How To Prepare If You’re Worried About The Coronavirus
After the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged Americans to prepare for the coronavirus, San Francisco has been put under a state of emergency. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the current risk is low, per a statement issued by Mayor London Breed. However, the state of emergency has been issued to get Bay Area residents (and funds + supplies) prepared in the event a case is reported. (Suarez, 2/28)
The New York Times: Surgeon General Urges The Public To Stop Buying Face Masks
The surgeon general on Saturday urged the public to stop buying masks, warning that it won’t help against the spread of the coronavirus but will take away important resources from health care professionals. “Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS!” the surgeon general, Jerome M. Adams, said in a tweet on Saturday morning. “They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if health care providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!” (Cramer and Sheikh, 2/29)
The Hill: Surgeon General: Stop Buying Masks
“Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!” Adams tweeted Saturday. “They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!” he added. (Balluck, 3/1)
Dallas Morning News: Should You Wear A Mask To Protect Yourself From Coronavirus?
With more than 87,000 cases of the COVID-19 virus in 60 different countries, the illness has been responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have told Americans to prepare for community outbreaks. But authorities say healthy people generally don’t need to wear masks. Thinking about getting face masks? Here’s what you need to know about when they can help. (Marfin, 3/1)
Boston Globe: Coronavirus Drives Local Sales Of Surgical Masks And Hand Sanitizer
Local concerns over the coronavirus haven’t boiled over into full-blown panic. But Boston area residents and visitors are still being cautious. Stores across Cambridge have emptied their shelves of hand sanitizer bottles and surgical masks as concerned customers buy up their entire supplies. Some have been out for days. (Jungreis, Phillips and Khan, 3/1)
The New York Times: Stop Touching Your Face!
Want to improve your chance of staying healthy? Stop touching your face! One of the more difficult challenges in public health has been to teach people to wash their hands frequently and to stop touching the facial mucous membranes — the eyes, nose and mouth, all entry portals for the new coronavirus and many other germs. (Parker-Pope, 3/2)
The New York Times: Talking To Teens And Tweens About Coronavirus
The psychologist Lisa Damour, author of “Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls,” said parents can help lessen their anxiety, and that of their kids, by learning all they can about the novel coronavirus and how to protect themselves. “Reinforce basic stuff kids know and understand: Wash your hands, get a good night’s sleep, protect your immune system,” Dr. Damour said. “Tell your kids you know what to do to reduce the chances of getting sick.” (De La Cruz, 3/2)
The New York Times: They Recovered From The Coronavirus. Were They Infected Again?
Can people who recover from a bout with the new coronavirus become infected again — and again? The Japanese government reported this week that a woman in Osaka had tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, weeks after recovering from the infection and being discharged from a hospital. Combined with reports from China of similar cases, the case in Japan has raised some uncomfortable questions. Reinfections are common among people who have recovered from coronaviruses that cause the common cold. (Mandavilli, 2/29)
CIDRAP: Some COVID-19 Patients Test Positive Days After Recovery
Four medical professionals with COVID-19 who met the criteria for hospital release or lifting of quarantine in China had positive real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results 5 to 13 days later, according to a research letter published yesterday in JAMA. The researchers said the results suggest that current criteria for hospital release or lifting of quarantine and continued treatment should be reevaluated. “These findings suggest that at least a proportion of recovered patients may still be virus carriers,” they wrote. (Beusekom, 2/28)
The Washington Post: What Is Coronavirus: Symptoms, How It Spreads, How To Avoid It
What began with a handful of mysterious illnesses in a vast central China city has traveled the world, jumping from animals to humans and from obscurity to international headlines. First detected on the last day of 2019, the novel coronavirus has infected tens of thousands of people — within China’s borders and beyond them — and has killed more than 2,500. It has triggered unprecedented quarantines, stock market upheaval and dangerous conspiracy theories. Most cases are mild, but health officials say the virus’s spread through the United States appears inevitable. As the country and its health-care system prepares, much is still unknown about the virus that causes the disease now named covid-19. (2/29)
Los Angeles Times: How This Coronavirus Kills Its Victims
As the virus starts to destroy the lungs, “people become unable to breathe properly,” Yang said. Even worse, the body’s efforts to fight the virus can cause inflammation in the lungs — making breathing even more difficult. Blood vessels damaged in the war between the virus and immune system may begin leaking fluid into lung tissues, which can be visible as white spots on chest X-rays. The fluid may drown some of the lung’s tiny air sacs, preventing them from delivering oxygen to the blood and removing carbon dioxide. It is this kind of inflammation and destruction that is called pneumonia. (Lin, 2/29)
Los Angeles Times: Q&A: I Have A Cough And Fever. Should I Get Checked For Coronavirus?
That means that unless you’ve had close contact with someone who’s infected with COVID-19, have recently traveled in Asia, Iran or Italy, or been in close contact with someone who has, the likelihood you’re infected with coronavirus is still pretty slim. (Healy, 3/1)
The Washington Post: Deadly 1918 Flu Pandemic’s Lessons Ignored In Trump’s Coronavirus Response, Historian Says
The first wave wasn’t that bad. In the spring of 1918, a new strain of influenza hit military camps in Europe on both sides of World War I. Soldiers were affected, but not nearly as severely as they would be later. Even so, Britain, France, Germany and other European governments kept it secret. They didn’t want to hand the other side a potential advantage. Spain, on the other hand, was a neutral country in the war. When the disease hit there, the government and newspapers reported it accurately. Even the king got sick. (Brockell, 2/29)
ABC News: Self-Quarantine May Provide Option To Slow Spread Of Coronavirus
Some people show up to work no matter what — snow, hail, sleet or illness. But muscling through is not always the best choice when sick. People are commonly told to stay home when they’re sick to avoid spreading their germs. The thought process with self-isolation or self-quarantine with the new coronavirus is similar. (Baldwin and Salzman, 2/29)
The New York Times: ‘Where Do I Find Your Hand Sanitizer?’ Sorry, We Have None.
Many shoppers at the local Walmart had the same question on Friday morning: “Where do I find your hand sanitizer?” The answer: Nowhere. Employees at the Cedar Knolls store showed shopper after shopper shelves devoid of any hand sanitizer. When an employee found a lone small box of travel packs of Clorox disinfecting wipes high on a shelf, hands reached in, grabbing the packs, three or more at a time. (Creswell, 2/29)
The Wall Street Journal: Where’s The Hand Sanitizer? Coronavirus Fears Empty Store Shelves, Disrupt Plans
Store shelves stripped bare of hand sanitizer. Hard-to-find face masks selling at a premium online. Grocery store customers filling their shopping carts to the brim. Unease over the possibility of a serious outbreak of the new coronavirus in the U.S. mounted palpably over the weekend, prompting many consumers to rush for supplies in much the same way they would if preparing for a major hurricane. (Ailworth and Francis, 3/1)
Kaiser Health News: In An Exchange About Coronavirus, Homeland Security Chief Gets Flu Mortality Rate Wrong
During a Senate appropriations Feb. 25 subcommittee hearing, Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, said the U.S. flu mortality rate was about the same as the current estimated global mortality rate of the coronavirus outbreak. He made this statement during an exchange with Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) regarding what the acting secretary knew about the coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19. This C-SPAN video shows the full discussion between the two. (Knight, 3/2)
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