(LEX 18) — As the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, the information surrounding the pandemic can be overwhelming. The Yale School of Medicine recently broke down the five things everyone should know about the novel coronavirus.
In early March, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, setting off a variety of safety measures, like practicing social distancing, closing businesses and wearing protective gear while in public. Up to today, people still have questions, like ‘are our actions working?’ and ‘when will the pandemic end?’
Experts at the Yale School of Medicine say what we know about COVID-19 changes every day. There’s still so much to learn about the virus, including how it spreads. Right now, it's thought to mainly spread from person to person from droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. It can still be transferred even if an infected person doesn’t show symptoms.
Doctors say strict measures are critical for slowing the disease. There’s a focus on ‘flattening the curve’ as we approach what many expect to be the peak phase of the virus.
The third thing we should know is how to protect yourself and others. Wash your hands frequently and properly, avoid touching your face, clean and disinfect commonly used items in your home, car, or workplace, and keep your distance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend wearing a face mask in public to help stop the spread.
Experts are working to reduce infections. Vaccine trials are currently underway, but it could take a year or more for one to be deemed safe and effective.
Finally, if you feel sick, take it seriously. COVID-19 symptoms include a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience these symptoms.
As information evolves, make sure to follow reputable sources, like the WHO and the CDC.