Whether you are keeping up with the latest news or reading an article here and there, most people across the country are wondering what topics around the impending coronavirus is a fact or myth. Because the COVID-19 is new to humans, we have no prior immunity and are thus completely susceptible to acquiring COVID-19, if transmission occurs. However, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control, 81% of those who contract the COVID-19 end up having only mild symptoms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets produced by breathing, talking, sneezing, coughing, or by contaminated hand contact to the eyes or mouth. One sneeze, the worst form of transmission, may produce as many as 40,000 droplets – most of which are small enough to remain floating in the air for up to 45 minutes, according to an article published in Live Science. That’s a fact not generally disclosed to the public.
On surfaces, COVID-19 survives for several hours to several days at room temperature on metal, glass, or plastic, according to a March 2020 BBC article. Because of this, anytime you are outside your home without using gloves and you’ve made contact with surfaces that may be contaminated, wash your hands first when coming home. Also, clean your home surfaces at least daily, with cleaners containing at least 60% alcohol.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends maintaining a Social Distance of 6 feet or more so that droplets do not reach you. The most important point in prevention is discipline — practice the 6ft Social Distancing rule and hand sanitization.
COVID-19 hand sanitation requires 20-second handwashing, reports the Centers for Disease Control.
If you develop a fever (87.9%), dry cough (67.7%), Fatigue (38.1%), shortness of breath (18.6%), or other flu-like symptoms, self-quarantine, or get a COVID-19 test done, which are now available in the Houston area. Testing sites can be found at https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov If your symptoms are moderate or progressive, seek medical attention for testing and treatment. If you have trouble breathing, go to an Emergency Room.
No immunizations or validated treatment currently exist. One year is the estimated completion time. Flattening the curve allows hospitals to not run out of supplies or respirators for the treatment of the very sick.
Testing is not 100% accurate but will help in tracking cases and management.
N95 masks protect droplet entry, while other face masks only minimize it.
The return of the virus seasonally is likely, but what is unknown is when, where, or how. So be sure to practice the prevention methods listed above.
Dr. Marcos V. Masson was the founder of the Houston Hand and Upper Extremity Center and the Reconstructive Orthopedic Center. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Texas School of Medicine for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. His practice consists of treating disorders of the hand, elbow, and shoulder. Special interests include complex shoulder reconstruction, Shoulder Arthroscopic reconstruction, treatment of repetitive work disorders and compression neuropathy.