Thanks for subscribing! Please check your email for further instructions.
Reported cases increased, as expected, from country to country. Protective measures are ramping – the word should be preparedness, not panic.
Masks and Protective Supplies
Even though the recommended use for protective face masks is for those infected with a virus or working in a healthcare facility to protect others from the spreading germs, there are those who will want to order a supply for their homes. It is a proactive step many will want to take, if only to assuage our fears.
Be aware that most online ordering – CVS, Walgreens, Amazon – will say that boxes of face masks are “out of stock” – also, most of them are actually “Made in China”, and shipping of supplies our of China is severely limited. Amazon stocks some, particularly for use by healthcare workers. However, you have to shop around the site to find some that do not come with what looks to be “price-gouging” rates – or shipping rates that are way too high.
In the last few days we’ve seen
prices jump dramatically. One pack of masks that in late January were $4.21 are
now $14.99 with as much as $55 for shipping.
Amazon is warning its 3rd party partners not to price gouge
in this way. Right now the best bet if
you want to store away a box of masks in your home, is to visit a pharmacy or a
medical supply store and purchase directly.
Keep in mind that these masks
are not that useful in the case of a virus or a pandemic, and only those with
respirators truly protect against keeping outside germs at bay.
N95 Respirators for Use by the
The FDA has cleared certain filtering facepiece respirators (N95) for use by the general public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not generally recommend facemasks and respirators for use in home or community settings. However, they may be appropriate for persons at increased risk of severe illness from influenza or other respiratory diseases. The FDA has cleared the following N95 respirators for use by the general public in public health medical emergencies:
Last night the President addressed the country for only the second time in his administration from the Briefing Room, flanked by the national experts who have been speaking in daily updates. He appointed Vice President Pence to head up a group to manage the response to the Coronavirus situation. He agreed to take more money than he had originally requested from congress and said “we will put it to good use”. He maintained the country is prepared as no other country in the world, for a unique flu that will be part of our lives for years to come. He said there were 15 people now in country who have had the virus, with 14 recovered or recovering, and one “pretty sick but who will recover”. There are an additional 40+ US citizens taken in from the Japanese cruise. He reiterated that schools and businesses should get prepared, and officials who also spoke said we all need to dust off our preparedness plans, especially businesses. “This will end.” The stock market is also expected to recover, though decreases like we’ve seen were to be expected in a global emergency.
Governor Bill DeBlasio went to a live news conference yesterday to review the status of coronavirus preparedness in The Big Apple. He noted that 80+ people may have been exposed in Nassau County, New York, and are being monitored after negative testing, and are self-isolating at home. He called for faster lab testing capabilities, and calling on the CDC to expand their testing of people incoming to USA, and named these countries, specifically: Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Italy, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. DeBlasio went on to say that if someone has just returned from one of these countries with symptoms, they need to get to a doctor immediately – they are being told to call 311 if they have no primary care or lack access, and the city will help coordinate doctor contact. “Better safe than sorry,” DeBlasio noted.
San Francisco declared a state of emergency – not because of cases of coronavirus, but to free up funds and processes to do what is being recommended – prepare.
Sick with any kind of flu?
What should you do if you think you have a contagious flu, or stomach bug; anything you might think is contagious. The CDC tells us…
Stay home except to get medical care
You should restrict activities outside your home, except for
getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using
public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
People: As much as
possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your
home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
Animals: You should
restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick, just like you
would around other people. When possible, have another member of your household
care for your animals while you are sick. Avoid contact with your pet,
including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you
must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands
before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.
Call ahead before visiting your doctor if you are sick
If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you are coming in sick. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
Flu or Coronavirus?
The only way to differentiate is to do a specific test as the symptoms are identical, at least in the beginning. They are fever, cough, difficulty breathing. Test kit production is being ramped up to have adequate supplies.
Wear a facemask
You should wear a facemask – if you are sick – when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Many doctor’s offices today have both facemasks and sanitizers right at the entrance.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially.
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid sharing personal household items
You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating
utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After
using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday
High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs,
bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions.
Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product
including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as
wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the
Monitor your symptoms
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening
(e.g., difficulty breathing). If you have a medical emergency and need to call
Rational? Or, irrational?
No, we don’t think we need to be walking around with face masks – but! – it’s changing day to day – stay tuned for RINewsToday for updates. In the meantime, none of these protective measures will hurt you – and if they make your fear a little less, then that is a personal decision you are free to make. Sheltering in home vs mass evacuation quarantine to a facility will be the plan. Corona virus vaccine research is ramping up. Treatment modalities are on a fast-track.
Remember the regular flu?
The annual, “regular FLU” has infected as many as 26 million people in the United States in just four months, killing up to 25,000 so far. Usually as many as 69,000 people die each year from a flu will have a vaccine and treatment for. When all is said and done this year, it is expected that the Coronavirus Flu will take its place among the yearly flu strains that will have a “flu shot” and treatment protocols.
Send your questions to news@RINewsToday.com and we will attempt to provide an answer for you.