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The novel coronavirus (Covid-19), also known as SARS-Cov2 is a new virus that is causing a respiratory illness across the United States and the globe. It was first identified in December 2019 (Cleveland Clinic, 2020) in Wuhan, China.
Symptoms of Covid-19
There is an incubation period (Lauer, 2020) of 5.5 days, with symptoms appearing by 11.5 days. (Lauer, 2020) Symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Difficulty breathing
How Covid-19 is Transmitted
The virus is spread (CDC, 2020) through close-contact, through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. Additionally, the virus can live for short time on contaminated objects and from people who are infected that are not showing symptoms yet, but these are considered less common vectors of infection.
How You Can Keep Yourself Safe
Basic precautions that apply to all respiratory illnesses include:
- Handwashing frequently, for at least 20 seconds
- Avoiding large gatherings (CDC guidelines are being updated regularly but currently recommend events with more than 50 people be cancelled for 8 weeks)
- If you do get symptoms, self-quarantine for 14 days to ensure you don’t have the illness
- Calling your family doctor or local Public Health if you are having symptoms, to arrange being tested in a safe way
You generally don’t need N-95 masks unless you are already showing symptoms. They will not provide protection for people who are asymptomatic.
How Keokuk County is Responding
The Sigourney Community School District cancelled classes for 4 weeks starting March 16, 2020 for the next 4 weeks.
The State of Iowa Legislature shut down for 30 days (Gruber-Miller, 2020) which likely means our local representatives Jarad Klein and Kevin Kinney won’t be seeing people either.
I created the Keokuk County Coronavirus Response Facebook group to help us coordinate people’s needs.
Do you have other information about coronavirus to share? Please let me know in the comments.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020) “How It Spreads” Retrieved on March 16, 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/transmission.html
Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Cleveland Clinic. (2020) Retrieved on March 16, 2020 from https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2020/03/15/frequently-asked-questions-about-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/
Gruber-Miller, S. (2020 Mar 15) Iowa Legislature to suspend session for 30 days over coronavirus concerns. Retrieved on March 16, 2020 from https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/15/iowa-legislature-suspends-session-coronavirus-covid-19/5053066002/
Lauer, S.A., et. al. (2020) The incubation period of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from publicly reported confirmed cases: Estimation and application. Ann Intern Med 2020 Mar 10; [e-pub] doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/M20-0504by