What you need to know on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

This post is sponsored by MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

coronavirusIt’s impossible to watch the news or check social media and not see or hear something about coronavirus.

Here are the facts you need to know about COVID-19 to help keep your family healthy.

What it is

COVID-19, originally referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV), was recently discovered in Wuhan, China. Cases of COVID-19 are appearing across the globe, and MercyOne teams are working with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with state and local authorities to monitor the virus to help keep our communities healthy.

What are COVID-19 symptoms?

Coronaviruses are respiratory, meaning most people who have a coronavirus will have a cough, shortness of breath, and a fever. Additional symptoms may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or runny nose.

How do people get Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is transmitted similar to the flu – through the air from a cough or sneeze of someone who has coronavirus. It is currently unknown if COVID-19 can be transferred through touching an infected surface.

How can we prevent the spread of COVID-19?

To help prevent the spread of all viruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Thoroughly washing your hands 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.
    TIP: Have your child sing “Happy Birthday” while washing their hands to make it fun and ensure they spend enough time washing.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 
  • Disinfecting surfaces and objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes



Should we wear facemasks to prevent COVID-19?

The CDC does not recommend people who are well wearing a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a health care professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. 

Like all health care organizations, MercyOne is following guidance provided by the CDC and Iowa Public Health Department to screen patients for symptoms, including fever and respiratory signs, as well as the patient’s travel history and exposure to those who have traveled.

If you or a family member begin to feel symptoms, please call ahead to your care location.

For the latest information and case reports, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.

Connect with MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

Website: MercyOne.org/desmoines

Twitter: @MercyOneDSM

Facebook: @mercyonedesmoines

Instagram: @mercyonedesmoines

Pinterest: @MercyOneDesMoines

The post is part of a series of sponsored posts by MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

What to do when your child has a fever

What you need to know about pediatric neurology


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