We know you've been hearing a lot about the coronavirus, or COVID-19, which has been causing so many problems in China and with people who've traveled there. Lee and I got an update from Robert Kirkpatrickat the Milam County Health Department yesterday at the Rotary Club's weekly meeting, and we want to share what we learned there.
Kirkpatrick assured us that the county health officials are updated daily on the status of this virus, which causes flu-like symptoms, and is usually mild. He and his staff participate in update phone calls daily, so they are always current on the state of the coronavirus.
So far, it is not in Milam County, nor does he expect it to get here.
That said, other flu viruses are present in the area, and we should all take precautions, especially if we are elderly or easily susceptible to illnesses. Since these illnesses are spread by sick people coughing or sneezing out droplets with the virus in them, we need to avoid those droplets.
Here are the steps Kirkpatrick shared with us, which I've copied from the Department of State Health Services website.
- 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 available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- 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.
None of that is too difficult for any of us to do, and it will keep us all safe.
Take care of yourselves!