I am training social distancing, sporting a masks when in public and staying house once I can. How vulnerable am I to an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 though I’ve taken these precautions?
Reply From William F. Marshall, III M.D.
You take the correct steps to maintain your self wholesome. The virus that causes coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) spreads primarily from individual to individual in respiratory droplets launched when somebody with the virus coughs, sneezes or talks. Much less generally, airborne transmission can happen. This occurs when very small virus particles linger within the air for minutes to hours, doubtlessly infecting others who’re in the identical space — even when the contaminated individual is much away or has left the area.
The virus can even unfold from contaminated folks to surfaces they contact, however that is regarded as much less widespread than person-to-person transmission. Consultants haven’t got the entire solutions about COVID-19 but, however this is what’s recognized to this point in regards to the threat of getting the virus from widespread surfaces and conditions:
Meals containers and packaging. There is not any proof of anybody contracting the virus that causes COVID-19 after touching meals containers and meals packaging. Many eating places at the moment are providing no-contact takeout and supply to minimize the chance of transmission.
Nonetheless, in case you’re involved, it is cheap to comply with basic meals security tips. Wash your arms for no less than 20 seconds with cleaning soap and water after dealing with takeout containers, after which switch meals to a clear dish utilizing clear utensils. Wash your arms once more earlier than consuming. After disposing of containers, clear and disinfect any surfaces that had takeout containers on them.
Grocery retailer produce. It is doable that the coronavirus would possibly linger on fruit and veggies which have been dealt with by an individual with the virus. Whether or not this might make you sick with COVID-19 is not recognized.
Finest observe is to comply with meals security tips and wash all fruit and veggies completely earlier than consuming them, by operating them underneath water. Cleaning soap is not wanted. You’ll be able to scrub produce that has a rind or thick pores and skin with a clear produce brush. Additionally wash your arms properly with cleaning soap and water as quickly as you get house from the grocery retailer.
Clear and disinfect any reusable luggage that you just carried to and from the shop. Most material luggage can undergo the washer and dryer; different luggage could be cleaned utilizing a disinfectant wipe or spray.
Take into account sporting a masks whereas grocery procuring, when it may be tough to keep up social distance from different customers. In some areas or at sure shops, sporting a masks could also be required.
- Family surfaces. In a research by the U.S. Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH), researchers discovered that the virus that causes COVID-19 can stay as much as 4 hours on copper, as much as 24 hours on cardboard, and as much as three days on stainless-steel and plastic surfaces. Frequently clear and disinfect generally touched family surfaces — akin to tables, counter tops, doorknobs, gentle switches, bathrooms, faucet handles and sinks.
- Consuming water. The virus that causes COVID-19 hasn’t been detected in ingesting water. Water therapy services have processes to filter and disinfect water earlier than it goes into your property.
Shut contact with folks. Particularly to individuals who do not stay in your family, do not get too shut. Hold the rule of social distance in thoughts: Attempt to keep 6 ft (2 meters) away from others.
Respiratory droplets from the virus that causes COVID-19 can unfold to an individual 6 ft or nearer after somebody with the virus coughs, sneezes or talks, which might put you in danger in case you’re inside that 6-foot circle.
Canine and cats. There have been reviews of some pets, together with canine and cats, being contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19 after shut contact with individuals who had the virus. Typically, the animals confirmed no indicators of being sick.
The virus that causes COVID-19 primarily spreads from individual to individual. Consultants do not take into account animals to be a major manner that coronavirus spreads. However that is an space of ongoing investigation.
Deal with your pets as in the event that they had been folks, protecting them no less than 6 ft (2 meters) away from different folks and animals exterior your family and staying at house when doable.
- Mosquitoes and ticks. There is not any proof to counsel that the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads by way of mosquito or tick bites.
Swimming swimming pools, sizzling tubs and water playgrounds There is not any proof that the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads by way of swimming swimming pools, sizzling tubs and water playgrounds.
Nonetheless, it is a good suggestion to maintain bodily distance between you and folks you do not stay with — no less than 6 ft (2 meters) in case you can — once you’re at a public pool or water park. Set the face masks apart once you’re within the water, as a moist masks makes respiration tough. However put on a face masks once you’re not within the water to assist reduce the potential for virus unfold. Keep house in case you’re feeling sick.
Stool, urine and different physique fluids. Respiratory droplets are the primary supply of unfold of the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus has additionally been detected within the stool of some people who find themselves sick with COVID-19.
Consultants do not know but what the chance of transmission from stool is perhaps, however the virus that causes COVID-19 might have the potential to unfold by way of untreated sewage. Additionally unknown is whether or not the virus would possibly unfold by way of different physique fluids, akin to urine, vomit, breast milk or semen.
By following social distancing and your native public well being tips, akin to staying at house when you may and sporting a face masks when you will need to exit, you assist to decrease your threat of an infection. You additionally assist defend different members of your group.
William F. Marshall, III M.D.
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- van Doremalen N, et al. Aerosol and floor stability of SARS-CoV-2 as in contrast with SARS-CoV-1. New England Journal of Medication. 2020; doi:10.1056/NEJMc2004973.
- Coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) continuously requested questions. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html. Accessed June 4, 2020.
- Coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19): If in case you have animals. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html. Accessed April 23, 2020.
- Medical questions on COVID-19: Questions and solutions. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/faq.html. Accessed April 20, 2020.
- Deciding on and serving produce safely. U.S. Meals and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/meals/buy-store-serve-safe-food/selecting-and-serving-produce-safely. Accessed April 23, 2020.
- Coronavirus illness (COVID-19) recommendation for the general public: Fantasy busters. https://www.who.int/emergencies/ailments/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters. Accessed June 4, 2020.
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