Huntington County Department of Health asks county residents to learn about COVID-19 illness

Graphic provided by World Health Organization.

The Huntington County Department of Health asks that residents of the county educate themselves about coronavirus disease 2019 – or COVID-19, for short.

To that end, the health department has provided information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about COVID-19.

As of Thursday, March 12, the health department recommends that events and gatherings be limited to no more than 50 attendees, in the interests of limiting the potential for COVID-19 to spread.

Call the health department at 358-4831 with any questions about the disease. For more information, visit the Indiana State Department of Health website at www.in.gov/isdh/ 28470.htm and the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/ coronavirus/2019-nCoV.

What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Can people in the U.S. get COVID-19?
Yes. COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in parts of the United States. Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example healthcare workers or household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Learn more about places with ongoing spread on the CDC website.

Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.?
Yes. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on Jan. 21, 2020. The current count of cases of COVID-19 in the United States is available on the CDC website.

How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory drop-lets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses on the CDC website.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
• Fever.
• Cough.
• Shortness of breath.

What are severe complications from this virus?
Some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and in some cases death.

How can I help protect myself?
People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you are sick
To keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
• 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.

Travel
What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19? If you have traveled from an affected area, there may be restrictions on your movements for up to 2 weeks. If you develop symptoms during that period (fever, cough, trouble breathing), seek medical advice.

Call the office of your health care provider before you go, and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.

Is there a vaccine?
There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive
actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.

Is there a treatment?
There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.