What’s Up With the Coronavirus?

What's Up With the Coronavirus?

Katelyn McGauley

The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has overtaken conversations in media coverage since January, but recently there has been an increase in cases in Massachusetts, which has sparked even more conversation. Although this number is likely to grow, there are currently 41 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in MA as of 3/9/20. 

COVID-19 is a virus that affects a person’s upper respiratory tract. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, which is not very different from the common cold. Healthy people that contract the Coronavirus have little to no risk of having long term health effects after contracting the illness. However, there are certain populations that are considered “high risk,” including people with chronic illnesses such as heart disease and lung disease or older adults. Therefore, it is the “low risk” population’s responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

According to the CDC, simple and “common sense” hygiene techniques will prevent the contraction and spread of the virus, even if you are exposed. These hygiene techniques include washing your hands frequently, avoid touching your ears/nose/mouth, and cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue and then throw the tissue away. When washing your hands, be sure to wash them for at least 20 seconds with soap and preferably warm water, especially after touching surfaces in public places. These easy hygiene techniques will prevent the chance you are exposed to coronavirus and contract the illness. 

Finally, if you feel you are sick and are experiencing some symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor for further advice regarding being tested. You will also probably be asked to self-quarantine yourself in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Although it may be tempting, do not go to school or any public place where the virus could potentially spread. 

I hope this article helped develop a clear picture of what COVID-19 is and its symptoms without overexerageration from the media.