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The Most Effective Way Of Preventing The Spread Of Coronavirus

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The Most Effective Way Of Preventing The Spread Of Coronavirus

The COVID-19 virus has infected 75,204 worldwide as of Wednesday and killed more than 2,000, according to the World Health Organization.

In the U.S., 15 cases of the new coronavirus, a close cousin of SARS and MERS, have been reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

As the virus continues to spread, so does panic.

Coronavirus Panic Drives Mask Sales

If you were to search “coronavirus” on the internet, you’d be bombarded with pictures of people wearing facemasks. The panic caused by fear of infection has resulted in an increased demand for disposable masks.

Drugstores in the U.S. and China have reported skyrocketing demand for facemasks. In the U.S., disposable masks have become a bestselling item on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

Yet doctors argue that facemasks are not the most effective way to protect yourself from the virus. The massive demand for disposable masks could cause more harm than good.

The mask hoarding could result in a shortage that would affect hospitals and clinics — places where they're needed most, according to the CDC.

Masks aren’t entirely useless. They are more useful to people who are already sick. Masks help to reduce the dissemination of infectious fluids in public spaces, therefore minimizing further spread of the disease.

For people who aren’t sick, masks are unnecessary.

For starters, the standard surgical mask is designed to stop large particles and not microscopic viruses. Surgical masks also tend to be too loose, don’t have air filters and leave the eyes exposed.

Wearing one won’t prevent you from being infected.

What's The Most Effective Way Of Protecting Yourself From Coronavirus?

The 2019 novel coronavirus is an airborne viral infection. Similar to the flu and common cold, the most effective way of protecting yourself is through regular hand-washing using soap and warm water.

Regular hand-washing helps to stop the spread of bacteria and can cut your risk of developing a respiratory infection by 16%.

Most people don’t know how to properly wash their hands. The World Health Organization recommends washing your hands for 40-60 seconds using soap and warm water.

If soap and water are unavailable, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC also recommends regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and objects. This includes elevator buttons, countertops, doorknobs and handrails.

Other preventive measures include:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow or a tissue.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If sick, stay at home.

Stay Informed About The Coronavirus

One of the best ways to protect yourself from coronavirus is to stay armed with the facts.

What do you know about the virus?

There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding the virus. 

Get your facts from a reputable health organization: the CDC and WHO are issuing regular updates on the coronavirus.

 

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