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MASKS: ON OR OFF?

How To Stay Healthy

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BACKGROUND

  • “Coronavirus” ~ a family of viruses causing a range of illnesses from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
  • *New* coronavirus detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
  • Spread to at least 24 countries.
  • World Health Organization declared a global health emergency.
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Coronavirus: China

  • Reported cases has multiplied rapidly.
  • Number of deaths in China has already exceeded suspected deaths during the SARS outbreak.
  • Passengers arriving in the U.S who traveled to China within the last two weeks are diverted to 11 airports where they are screened, and if necessary quarantined.
  • The State Dept. and Centers for Disease Control advise against travel to China.
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Coronavirus In U.S.

  • Declared a public health emergency.
  • Twelve people infected (most, if not all are travel-related & their spouses) in six states (AZ, CA, IL, MA, WA, & WI).
  • More than 300 suspicious cases tested negative; 60+ cases still pending (representing people in 37 states).
  • CDC: “…it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.”
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DO YOU NEED A MASK?

“There really is no need to wear a mask right now…Exactly what you do to protect against influenza, applies to protecting against coronavirus – and that does not include wearing a mask.”

Nat'l Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Dir. Dr. Anthony Fauci
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Something To Consider:

  • Majority of respiratory illnesses spread either through tiny airborne germs or droplets.
  • Airborne germs can easily spread simply by being in close proximity with someone who is ill, like the measles.
  • Right now, the CDC believes the new coronavirus is spread via droplet; touching infected surfaces, or having someone sneeze/cough near you from 3-6 ft may spread the disease.

 

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Practical Advice

“Wash your hands really well. Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door. Use your elbow to touch an elevator button and try not to touch high-traffic surfaces…All those things that help protect us from the flu, will also help protect us from the coronavirus.”

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD MBA, author of "Mom Hacks."
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For context: the CDC estimates 10,000 people have died from the flu since October, and 180,000 were hospitalized (comparable to past years). The CDC just announced coronavirus diagnostic test kits are now available to doctors & will provide results in 4 hrs.

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