The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has told Americans to prepare for the spread of the coronavirus, although the flu is still a bigger threat here in the U.S. As of Wednesday evening, eight cases had been confirmed in Kentucky, but it is essential to remain calm about this issue, while remaining informed to maintain the health and safety of everyone in our community.

The risk of transmission of the coronavirus remains very low, according to health experts. However, it is essential that we all take steps to prevent illness – whether it is the flu (which has impacted many more people and can be life-threatening) or other illnesses. The CDC states that the best and easiest thing you can do to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is WASH YOUR HANDS!

The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask to prevent the coronavirus. Only people who have the coronavirus or are showing symptoms should wear a face mask which protects others from infection.

What you can do:

• The No. 1 thing to do is to 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.

• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wipes with at least 60% alcohol.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, like cellphones.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.

Symptoms include:

• Dry cough

• Sneezing

• Fever

• Shortness of breath

Those at a higher risk:

• Young

• Elderly

• Those with weak immune symptoms

For more information, here is a link to an informational release by Natalie Jones, Family Health Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture Resources: https://fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/content/preventing-coronavirus-and-flu   

As the situation is constantly changing, the CDC is the most current and knowledgeable source on a national level. Use the CDC website to stay up to date with the most accurate information:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html   

Contact the Calloway County Extension Office for more recommendations for preventing infectious illnesses including coronavirus, flu and others.

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