Wash Your Hands!

Lily Bugg, Reporter

You’ve been hearing it since you were little- wash your hands! Did we realize how important it actually is? Probably not. With the infamous corona virus going around, people are sharing their own tips and tricks to staying healthy. The biggest factor in staying healthy is staying hygienic. This simply means to stay clean, and be aware of the bacteria you might be carrying around.

What exactly is the coronavirus? Well, it’s not one set virus. There are multiple different coronaviruses. They can be transmitted between animals and humans. The current outbreak is a specific strain that affects humans, named “Novel Coronavirus.” There has not been a previously recorded outbreak before now. It has killed more than 2,800 people and there have been more than 83,000 cases worldwide.

It has reached every single continent, except Antarctica.  There has been 15 confirmed cases in the United States, 22 in Australia, 13 in Canada, 40 in France, along with 2 deaths, 23 in Germany, 94 in Hong Kong, as well as 2 deaths, and 245 cases and 26 deaths in Iran, and many more. The number of confirmed cases and deaths are rapidly rising. The first case was detected in China in December of 2019.

This virus is spread from person to person through direct contact, which means that the basic acts of washing your hands often, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and/or coughing, and staying home when you show symptoms are still effective. This keeps you, as well as everybody around you, safe from coming down with this nasty illness.

How do you know if you’re starting to catch novel coronavirus? It has the same signs as the common cold or flu, which present themselves through a fever, fatigue, cough, and breathing difficulties. It will most likely start as a fever and a dry cough. If you don’t see a doctor for your symptoms, it may turn into pneumonia, SARS, kidney disease and even death. Local hospitals are taking action in preparing for cases to reach Kansas. They are also looking for more ways of identifying the virus.

Kansas officials have asked people to call 9-1-1 if they have traveled out of the country so that they can stay ahead of future possible cases. They ask specific questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and from that, they are expecting to determine how you should proceed.

The virus has been reported to be up to 20 times as deadly as the flu, with the fatality rate being around 2-3%, and the flu being 0.1%. There are more than 20 vaccines being developed worldwide. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, the World Health Organization, says “Our epidemiologists have been monitoring these developments continuously, and we have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at a global level.”

He announces that if you are sick or feeling ill, you should, in short, be quarantined from others. Use different eating and cooking tools, eat and sleep away from you family and friends, and stay at home. See your doctor as soon as possible to get a definitive diagnosis. The starting symptoms may not be serious, but the long-term effects can be costly. There have also been rumors about the virus being linked to the beer company “Corona.” The short answer- no. It has been confirmed that it is just a coincidence of names, and you are safe to drink responsibly without fear of catching the illness. Remember, seek a medical professional if you are experiencing symptoms, and stay home if you are feeling ill. Wash your hands, and stay educated about the outbreak in order to prevent it.