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Preparing for COVID-19

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About COVID-19 ● COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory illness that can spread from person to person ● COVID-19 is in the family of Coronaviruses. ● Coronaviruses are common and endemic. They are thought to be the second most common virus that causes the common cold after rhinoviruses ● COVID-19 (disease) or SARS-CoV-2 (virus name) is considered novel (new) because it was first seen in humans in November or December of 2019. ● Severity of symptoms can range from very mild to severe (viral Pneumonia). ● People who are older or with existing medical conditions (eg. heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, immunocompromised) are at higher risk.

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COVID-19 Transmission COVID-19 is highly contagious but risk of transmission can be reduced by following certain safety practices. COVID-19 is thought to spread via respiratory droplets (coughing or sneezing) or from touching a surface that has virus on it. The virus can live on surfaces like a chair or table, for a few hours or up to several days. Transmission occurs primarily through mucous membranes on your face (eyes, mouth and nose). Avoid touching your face! COVID-19 is not airborne and thus much less contagious than diseases like Measles.

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As of March 11th, 2020 Source: NYT

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Source: CDC Symptoms show up on average 5 days after exposure.

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Source: CDC Symptoms show up on average 5 days after exposure. If you are feeling unwell, please check for fever at least twice a day.

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Case fatality rate (CFR) is estimated to be between 1-2%

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● Wash your hands! ○ Regularly wash hands (for 20 seconds) with soap and water or with an alcohol-based rub. ○ Wash hands first thing when entering the office ○ Cover your coughs with your elbows (demo anyone?) ● Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth ● Avoid shaking hands ● Stay 2 meters (6 feet) away from sick people ● Get your flu shot ● Avoid travel to areas with a COVID-19 outbreak ● Avoid public events with a lot of people (social distancing) Stay safe behaviors

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If you are sick or have been potentially exposed If you are feeling ill, please inform your manager and please stay home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing) seek medical attention immediately. Call in advance if possible to coordinate care. If you feel you have been exposed (from travel or being on contact with someone from COVID-19), please self quarantine at home for 14 days. Wear a facemask to help reduce exposure to others.

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Treatment Currently there is no known treatment or vaccine. Vaccine is expected to take minimum 6-12 months to develop and trial. Pharmaceutical companies are actively developing vaccines now. Remdesivir (Ebola drug) is in clinical trials (results due this month). Pre-clinical data shows it’s active against MERS / SARS virus that have genetic similarities to (SARS-COV-2). If effective, would be used as therapy to help reduce severity of cases admitted to hospitals or prophylactically for health workers.

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Being prepared to stay home You should be prepared in case you have to self quarantine or stay home to limit your family’s exposure in the case of community spread (social distancing). ● Have 2 weeks worth of food (non-perishable) and water at home. ● Have 30-60 days of any required prescription medicine (eg. insulin, blood pressure, asthma meds, etc). Also consider buying cough medicine, fever treatment medicine. ● Don’t forget the TP! (and other essentials, eg. cooking gas, toiletries, etc). ● Don’t hoard! This is not the Zombie Apocalypse!

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The Good and Bad COVID-19 is spreading rapidly and will have a large global health and economic impact. Potentially will significantly disrupt our regular way of life for at least 2 months and maybe longer. Good news. China the center of the outbreak has reduced new cases to 14 a day. China has demonstrated that it can be contained.

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