ALF Statement on COVID-19 Coronavirus
March 5, 2020
NOTE: Please click here for the latest CDC statement “People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19”
The CDC is closely monitoring and responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in 60 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
As an update:
- Imported cases of COVID-19 in travelers have been detected in the US.
- Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 was first reported among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan.
- During the week of February 23, the CDC reported community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in California, Oregon and Washington. Community spread in Washington resulted in the first death in the United States from COVID-19, as well as the first reported case of COVID-19 in a health care worker, and the first potential outbreak in a long-term care facility.
As news of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in the headlines, we want to share with you what we are doing here at the American Liver Foundation to address the health risks to our staff and community.
At this point, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is characterizing the outbreak as an emerging and rapidly evolving situation.
We are actively monitoring the issue and working with leading health-care practitioners, government agencies and industry partners so that we are well positioned to support our community as needed.
During this time of year, it’s important to take precautions to prevent becoming ill from the flu. You should take the same precautions during the Coronavirus outbreak that you would take to prevent the flu.
The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu.
According to the CDC, the following tips and resources will help you learn about steps you can take to protect yourself and others and help stop the spread of germs.
- Flu Vaccine
Seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.
- Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
- Cover your mouth and nose
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
- Clean your hands
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Thank you for your continued vigilance. We will continue to provide additional updates on new developments in the days and weeks ahead. For additional information, please visit the CDC website: (https://www.cdc.gov/) and remember to give our helpline a call if you have questions about liver health and disease at 1-800-GO-LIVER.
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