Coronavirus is all you hear about on news right now, and for both good and bad reasons.
While Coronavirus is a public health crisis, it is still not an emergency situation in the US.
Most importantly, should you stop having your housekeeper come over until the epidemic has passed? Not so much, and we go into detail below.
What is Coronavirus?
COVID-10, colloquially known as “Coronavirus” is a respiratory disease first detected in Wuhan, China. It is believed to have spread to humans from bats, but the exact history is unknown at this point.
What you see on the news is all about a specific strain of Coronavirus (there are different kinds), and this year’s version is called SARS-CoV-2. This is not the first time a disease in this family has appeared.
How do you get it?
Coronavirus is primarily spread person-to-person, via the respiratory droplets released into the air when you breath. It is estimated you are in the infection range if you stand within 6 feet of an infected person.
As of right now, it appears contagion is at its highest when the symptoms are Coronavirus are at their worst. However, it may be possible to contract the virus from someone who does not yet show symptoms.
Coronavirus may be able to spread from infected surfaces or objects, but this is not thought to be the main route of transmission.
Infection rate varies from person-to-person, as there are different sub-strains of the virus. However, COVID-19 is considered to be highly contagious by the CDC and other world health organizations.
What does Coronavirus do?
The main symptoms of the virus start within 2-14 days of exposure: shortness of breath, cough, and fever have been identified as the primary symptoms.
How dangerous is it? In regards to danger level, here is what the CDC had to say:
Both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV have been known to cause severe illness in people. The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including illness resulting in death. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a reportexternal icon out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.
What can I do to prevent the spread?
The CDC advocates the same practices as for the common cold:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Should I pause my maid service until the virus has passed?
Almost certainly not!
While the Coronavirus epidemic is worrisome, it has not spread to the US in the same way it has spread through China.
There are no reported cases in Austin as of today, and the only nearby infected persons are quarantined in a medical facility in San Antonio.
It’s important to remember, at times like this, that everyone is equally unlikely to be carrying the virus. Exposure to your 1 or 2 housekeepers doesn’t put you any more at risk than walking through a grocery store or talking to someone face-to-face.
Your cleaning professional is not any more likely to infect you that your mother, your son, your best friend, or anyone else.
Easyway Maid Service is keeping a close eye on the Coronavirus news, and we will update our protocols as new information comes out.