Coronavirus: How to Protect Your Family | South Denver Moms

The Coronavirus is all over the news on a nightly basis! As a mother of two, any virus worries me, but one that is considered so widespread as Coronavirus is, worries me even more. I am reassured as I continue to learn more from health professionals both locally and globally. However, I have still done my own research and here are a few of the basic questions I wanted answered for myself to confirm if I should continue to worry, or if the news was causing people to worry too much. You have to remember, worrying doesn’t do you any good! I have to repeat that to myself about 100 times a day.

Please note I am not a healthcare professional in this is simply based on my own recent research. Statistics change on an ongoing basis, so please refer to the CDC’s website for up-to-date information.

Are there in confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Colorado?
No, according to the CDC’s website there are no confirmed cases in the state of Colorado. Additionally, there appears to be just 15-cases that are actually confirmed in the United States.

Should we be traveling?
Traveling in general is risky (in my opinion) this time of year. Based on what I’ve read and heard from local healthcare professionals on our news here on Colorado, the only imminent threat of contracting the Coronavirus is 1) if you’ve recently traveled to China, or 2) been in contact with someone that has been to China.

Should we be worried?
One healthcare professional here in Colorado said it best, it’s best to be aware, but no need to worry for the average person. This time of year, there is so much going around! The Flu, colds, everything…so per usual, you just need to keep your hands washed and away from anyone showing symptoms of an illness.

This story was originally featured on our parent-site, The Local Moms Network.

Coronavirus. We’ve all been hearing a lot about it—and seeing some pretty dramatic images and stats in the news—but what exactly is it, and how concerned should we be?

By definition, a coronavirus is common virus that causes relatively harmless cold symptoms—irritation of the nose, sinuses, upper throat. Some types can be particularly deadly, however—MERS and SARS, for instance. The one everyone is talking about now, that recently originated in Wuhan, China, is called 2019 novel coronavirus, and is infecting thousands more in that region every day. In the United States, there are currently only a handful of cases, but with over 500 deaths and 28,000 cases worldwide (primarily in China), concern is growing.

Here’s what parents should know, how you can protect your kids, and other advice from Richard Martinello, MD., a Yale Medicine infectious disease specialist who is the medical director of the Infection Prevention Department at Yale New Haven Health.

How worried should parents be about Coronavirus?
There is no need to panic or change any routines at this time. It is important to ensure that you take actions and practice good behaviors to stay healthy. Since we expect the flu virus to continue circulate in Connecticut at least through April, if you or a family member is not yet vaccinated, getting them vaccinated is the single best action to take. In addition, getting into good habits with hand washing, keeping fingers away from ones face and ensuring family members stay home when there sick also helps to keep a community healthy.

How is it spread?
It is not known exactly how the novel coronavirus is spread, but research on this topic is underway. We do know other coronaviruses can be spread both by respiratory droplets and from contaminated surfaces by hands.

How can it be prevented—are masks a good idea?
While wearing a mask may provide some protection from respiratory viruses, there are other actions which may be more effective. First, avoid persons who may be sick. Sometimes, on elevators or subway cars for example, this may not be possible, but when it is in your control. Staying a distance from those ill can help. Second, many respiratory viruses are transmitted from contaminated surfaces by our own hands to our eyes and nose. Keeping your hands and fingers away from your face may be one of the most effective ways to keep from getting sick. If you must touch your eyes or nose, washing your hands carefully with soap and water or using an alcohol based hand rub can help to destroy germs on your hands. One point for caution if you do choose to wear a mask is that one generally touches their face while putting the mask on and taking it off. And, since the mask can irritate one’s face, people wearing masks for long periods often touch their face- this can actually increase their risk for getting sick.

Is Coronavirus deadlier than the flu?
So far, the data has suggested that it is more deadly than seasonal flu and more contagious. However, we expect that as more data becomes available, we’ll have a more precise understanding of the spectrum of disease and the severity of disease from the novel coronavirus.

In the grand scheme of risk, should we be more worried about the flu than Coronavirus?
Right now, we really need to continue to focus on flu. We do need to follow the novel coronavirus carefully, but flu remains and is having a significant impact on our health.

Why has Coronavirus been so deadly in China, and do you expect it to be as deadly here?
It’s possible that our experience here will be similar to what China is now experiencing. However, as the weather starts to get warmer, that may impact how easily the novel coronavirus can spread, impacting what we experience.

Which kids/families are most at risk for these illnesses?
We know that being in any circumstance where there is close contact with people is a risk for the spread of respiratory viruses and the larger the group, the greater the risk. Places such as households, schools, daycare, work, etc. all have some degree of risk whether it is for flu, the novel coronavirus or another respiratory virus.

For more information:

Join The South Denver Moms Network Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around The South Denver Moms Network community with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.