EDITORIAL: Common sense cold and flu prevention tips

There is a lot of conversation and worry about COVID-19, a new coronavirus.

A coronavirus is a type of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses aren’t dangerous and spread the same way other cold-causing viruses do: through infected people coughing and sneezing, by touching an infected person’s hands or face, or by touching things such as doorknobs that infected people have touched.

Almost everyone gets a coronavirus infection at least once in their lifetime, most likely as a young child. In the United States, coronaviruses are more common in the fall and winter, but anyone can come down with a coronavirus infection at any time.

A new version called the “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” — SARS-CoV-2 — is the virus that causes COVID-19. It spreads the same way other coronaviruses do, and infections range from mild to serious. Medical experts are continuing to develop guidance and treatment advice.

Yes, it’s natural to worry about the impact on our lives and our businesses, and we can and should take some precautions, but there’s no reason for panic. Everyone should be proactive in the same ways we can avoid and treat regular colds, viruses, or bacterial infections by following some simple steps:

  1. Stop handshaking and use other non-contact greeting methods, and wash your hands often with soap.
  2. Create habits and reminders to avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes.
  3. Regularly disinfect surfaces such as door knobs, tables, desks, and handrails — and that includes phones, tablets, and keyboards.
  4. Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
  5. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  6. Don’t drink out of someone else’s glass or cup, and limit food sharing.
  7. Stay home if you are not feeling well or have a sick family member in your home. And if you have been home sick, stay there until you’ve been fever-and symptom-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of medicine.

Stock up on normal household items not just because of this latest virus but to prepare for any kind of natural or local emergency such as bad weather or a power outage — and to minimize your shopping trips, reducing contact and saving time and gas.

Take care of yourself, keep your environment clean to minimize exposure to -any- type of germs or bacteria, and stay well!

For more information, check updates from the Centers for Disease Control.


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