Jayne Giese
Staff Writer

What started as an epidemic originating in Wuhan, China, the Coronavirus is now classified as a pandemic.  Confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, The Republic of Korea, the U.S., and Vietnam.

With numerous countries affected, including the U.S., will the odds be in our favor of avoiding the virus? Dr. Harry Kestler, professor of microbiology at Lorain County Community College, believes that the odds are more in our favor than not. 

“We still don’t know much about this Coronavirus, it’s a bit of a mystery to us. We do know that when an epidemic or pandemic occurs, quarantine is the best solution to isolate the virus and prevent future outbreaks,” said Kestler. 

Currently, the whole area in Wuhan, China that the virus birthed from is being quarantined.  Travel in and out of the city has been suspended until the virus is under control.  “There is a big push for quarantine going on right now.  The two cases that made it out here to the U.S., a man from Seattle, WA and a woman in Chicago, IL are said to be bound to their homes for two weeks.  The government is being very diligent and screenings are being done at all international airports.  If you have even a slight temperature, they will catch it,” Kestler said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you have recently traveled to Wuhan and fell ill with a fever or cough 14 days after you left, you should seek medical attention immediately.  There currently is no vaccine or treatment for the Coronavirus but the CDC has said the best prevention of catching the virus and keeping yourself safe is to treat this like you would with any flu.

Tips to keep yourself healthy:

  • Avoid contact with others who may be ill, stay home if you are ill
  • Never travel while sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (never your hand) when coughing or sneezing 
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading or catching the virus.
  • If you are traveling out of the country, make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.