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Center for Disease Control offers steps to avoid COVID-19

Michigan currently has no known cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported. (They) are at elevated, though still relatively low, risk of exposure.

On its website, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers several recommendations for avoiding exposure to the virus. These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, the website states. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

• Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask:

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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