Did you know that coronaviruses, including the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product?
That's right. The Environmental Protection Agency has posted an extensive list of registered antimicrobial products for use against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The EPA issued "List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2" (the name of the virus that causes COVID-19). This list can be found at epa.gov and includes a number of brand-name products, from disinfecting bleach to wipes and multi-surface cleaners and sprays. These products can be used to clean high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, sinks, faucets, toilets and light switches.
"Using the correct disinfectant is an important part of preventing and reducing the spread of illnesses along with other critical aspects such as hand washing," the EPA said.
Consumers using these disinfectants should follow the directions on the label, paying close attention to how long the disinfectant should remain on the surface.
What else you'll need
According to Ready.gov, the official website of the Department of Homeland Security, your COVID-19 shopping list should also include the following:
- A two-week supply of water and non-perishable food
- A 30-day supply of your prescriptions
- Nonprescription drugs like pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins
- Soap and hand sanitizer
How to avoid COVID-19
Other precautions you can take to limit the spread of germs and prevent infection include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, it may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Practice other good health habits, such as getting plenty of sleep and exercise, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food
What if you think you have the symptoms of COVID-19?
If you have symptoms, but aren't sure if you have COVID-19, you should proceed with receiving a COVID-19 test. If you are positive for COVID-19, stay home and isolate away from others. If your symptoms worsen, seek emergency medical care.
Added Mobeen Rathore, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and chief of Infectious Diseases at Wolfson Children's Hospital: "The type of infection prevention and control that we do for COVID-19 is not any different than for many other [viruses]," he said. "The best thing everyone can do is practice good hand hygiene."
Mask on, mask off?
In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, the CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting.
This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others.
This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms. A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people must go into public settings (grocery stores, for example).Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for health care workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
At Baptist Health, we want to help keep you and your family informed about COVID-19. We're coordinating with the health department and following CDC guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our community. For more information, visit baptistjax.com/covid19.