COVID-19

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COVID-19

My Fellow Illinoisans, Over the past few months we have seen the spread of the Coronavirus, with 288 confirmed cases here in Illinois and one death. In an attempt to communicate accurate information, the information included in this email are directly from the City of Chicago and State of Illinois governments. Please share, stay safe and be well.   What is the Coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people, and others that circulate among animal, including camels, cats, and bats. Rarely animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people.   Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and commonly cause mild to moderate illness in people worldwide. However, the emergence of novel (new) coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, have been associated with more severe respiratory illness.   Symptoms Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. These illnesses usually only last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include   FeverCoughShortness of breath   Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.   How does it spread? Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through   the air by coughing and sneezingclose personal contact, such as touching or shaking handstouching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your handsrarely, fecal contamination   Prevention The following can help prevent the spread of coronaviruses and protect yourself from becoming infected.   wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 secondsavoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed handsavoid close contact with people who are sick   There are currently no vaccines to protect against human coronavirus infection.   Treatment There are no specific treatments. To help relieve symptoms. People sick with COVID-19 should receive supportive care from a health care professional. Supportive care means care to help relieve symptoms; for example, medicine to bring down fevers, or oxygen if a patient’s oxygen level is low.   take pain and fever medicationsdrink plenty of liquidsstay home and rest   Do I need to wear a mask? CDPH does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).   What affect does this have on travel? The U.S. government has taken unprecedented steps with respect to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus: Foreign nationals who have been in China or Iran within the past 14 days cannot enter the United States.U.S. citizens, residents, and their immediate family members who have been in China or Iran within in the past 14 days can enter the United States, but they are subject to health monitoring and possible quarantine for up to 14 days.On March 11, a similar policy was expanded to include 26 European countries for a period of 30 days. On March 14, a similar policy was issued to include the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. On March 8, CDC recommended that people at higher risk of serious COVID-19 illness avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel. Additionally, CDC has issued the following additional specific travel guidance related to COVID-19.   What are CDC recommendations? Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat: Individuals and communities should familiarize themselves with recommendations to protect themselves and their communities from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. Older people and people with severe chronic conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. If you are a healthcare provider, use your judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Factors to consider in addition to clinical symptoms may include: Does the patient have recent travel from an affected area? Has the patient been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or with patients with pneumonia of unknown cause?Does the patient reside in an area where there has been community spread of COVID-19?If you are a healthcare provider or a public health responder caring for a COVID-19 patient, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures. If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home.If you are a resident in a community where there is ongoing spread of COVID-19 and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home.   For people who are ill with COVID-19, but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness.   If you have been in China or another affected area or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you will face some limitations on your movement and activityPlease follow instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow spread of this virus.
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