Tips To Effectively Protect Yourself From Coronavirus

Fighting off coronavirus and its symptoms - and for that matter, all viruses - is as simple as religiously following basic rules in health and hygiene. 

Now with over 300 fatalities in China alone, according to the New York Times, the coronavirus still shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it has impacted businesses and important travel in America, with quarantine centers set up in many major airports across all 50 states plus Puerto Rico.

For instance, in Oregon alone, Intel and Columbia Sportswear has halted all non-essential travel to China, with the former donating $1 million to the International Red Cross to aid those impacted by the virus. Since the state is one of China's major maritime trading partners, the U.S. Coast Guard said that it is on the lookout for incoming ships to see if they have visited a country with cases of coronavirus.

Contrary to popular belief, coronavirus is but one of many similar forms of viruses, with others including the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). This one is called the novel coronavirus, and it is understandably scary since it is a new virus.

According to Dr. David Hotchkin, pulmonologist and critical care doctor at the Oregon Clinic, coronavirus will leave you feeling like you have a cold at best, and results in pneumonia and, in some cases, death at worst. 

Although Dr. Hotchkin said that the reports coming out of Wuhan, China, (the virus' epicenter) suggest that the virus is most likely to kill those "with complex medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and [...] individuals that have immune suppression," that does not mean that you are spared from it. That is why he has given some tips on how to effectively protect yourself from coronavirus.

Frequently wash your hands

"The most important thing you can do during cold and flu season ... is [to] wash your hands frequently," Dr. Hotchkin said. "Wash your hands a lot. Wash your hands after you touch anything. Think about how many different things you touch during the day; touch your door handle, touch your car, go to a restaurant, wipe up against the wall. You really just need to wash your hands."

Know that masks do not always help you

When it comes to masks, Dr. Hotchkin suggested that you save your money instead. Unless you are advised to wear one at all times, especially during flight, these may not help much in fighting off coronavirus since viruses tend to be more effective in closed-space areas than in open air places. Also, some estimates suggest that masks tend to be saturated with the air you breath after 15 to 30 minutes, causing you to inhale it again once the mask gets wet.

Coronavirus The 2019-nCoV, a new type of coronavirus, was first discovered at a small animal and seafood market in the city of Wuhan in China. Pixabay