With coronavirus now prevalent in the New York City area, here are some things to know about the illness, and ways to avoid becoming sick.
- The risk of contracting coronavirus is low, but it can spread from person to person.
- There are no specific vaccines or treatments for coronavirus.
- Medication is available for treatment of symptoms; a vaccine is in development.
- Most people infected may experience mild symptoms; seniors, people with compromised immune systems and patients with pre-existing medical conditions are at higher risk of more serious complications.
- Symptoms are similar to the flu, and include fever, cough and/or shortness of breath.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds to prevent possible infection.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- Only use a face mask if you are sick, are a health care professional, or have a compromised immune system that makes you more susceptible to infection.
- Do not touch your face or head with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- Clean and disinfect any frequently touched objects or surfaces in your home or office.
- Stay home if you aren’t feeling well, but seek medical care immediately if you experience symptoms of coronavirus.
- For questions about coronavirus, call the New York State Health Department hotline at 888-364-3065, or visit the city Department of Health’s website, nyc.gov/coronavirus.
Sources: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention