Coronavirus Pandemic
Central Florida Health News|April 2020
Healthcare Facilities Focus on Facts, Precautions
TERESA SCHIFFER
THERE IS A NEW “C” WORD scaring people these days, and we’re willing to bet you’ve already heard it – coronavirus. Everywhere you look, coronavirus, or COVID-19, is on people’s lips. While the CDC is recommending we all take precautions, such as handwashing, good household hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and staying home when sick, what are local health care professionals doing to control the spread of this contagious virus? Area hospitals like those operated by BayCare Health System and AdventHealth are announcing what steps they are implementing in order to adequately treat patients while preventing further contamination within their facilities.

First, what exactly are we dealing with? The full name of this viral infection is Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19. It is a new type of infection that causes mild to severe respiratory illness. As of March 19, there was no widely accepted and approved vaccine to prevent the disease.

According to Watson Clinic, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to that of the common cold or flu – fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms can begin to manifest anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to an infected individual. COVID-19 is primarily spread by coughing and sneezing. Tiny droplets expelled in this way can be inhaled by people nearby. Being within six feet of an affected person for a prolonged period of time will increase your risk of catching the disease.

As the presence of novel coronavirus continues to increase in Florida and across the United States, it is imperative that hospitals and clinics remain operational in order to treat and contain the virus. It is important that appropriate measures are employed to protect staff, vulnerable patients, and the public at large. To that end, many health care providers are opting to apply restrictions on visitors to their facilities.

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