By Mary Bavaro, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist | Skagit Regional Health – 2020 Spring/Summer
While there is no vaccine for COVID-19, as of this writing, each of us can take steps to avoid exposure to the virus. These precautions, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, are the same steps we take to help prevent other common respiratory infections and influenza.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, whenever possible.
- Practice good personal hygiene habits. This includes frequent hand washing with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds, particularly after using the restroom and before eating; Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) is a suitable alternative when soap and water are not readily available.
- Cough and sneeze into a disposable tissue and throw it away. Wash your hands after discarding the tissue. Cough or sneeze into your elbow if a tissue is not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects, such as cell phones, light switches, door knobs and countertops.
- Routine use of masks by people who are healthy are not recommended. Masks are recommended for people seeking medical care who have a fever and cough or flu-like symptoms.
- Help keep others healthy by staying home if you are experiencing mild symptoms.
For additional information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and resources, visit the CDC Coronavirus (COVID 19) and Washington State Department of Health websites. The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public, including how the virus is spread and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.
Mary Bavaro, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist | Skagit Regional Health