COVID-19: a new coronavirus

The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that had not previously caused disease in humans but has now become capable of infecting people. While we do know it is contagious, it does not seem that children are at higher risk. Children who have tested positive in China had mild illnesses.

Symptoms of COVID-19

People with confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported illnesses ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Body aches

  • Tiredness

  • Sore throat

  • Headache

  • Diarrhea

  • Pneumonia

How to protect your family

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

 

Here are a few other things you can do to keep your family healthy and help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. Look for one that is 60% or higher alcohol-based.

  • Keep your kids away from others who are sick or keep them home if they are ill.

  • Teach kids to cough and sneeze into a tissue (make sure to throw it away after each use!) or to cough and sneeze into their arm or elbow, not their hands.

  • Clean and disinfect household objects and surfaces in your home.

  • Avoid touching your face; teach your children to do the same.

  • Avoid travel to highly infected areas
     

If your child has been exposed to COVID-19, or you are concerned about your child's symptoms, call our office immediately.

 

How to prepare for the possibility of school or childcare closings

If there is a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, local public health officials may recommend temporarily closing schools and childcare centers to help slow the spread of illness. School also may decide to dismiss students early if there are too many students or staff absent. Working parents can be prepared by having alternative childcare plans or talking with their employers about work from home options during school closings. If your child attends a college or university, encourage them to learn about the school's plan for a COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Talking to children about COVID-19

There's a lot of news about the current outbreak of COVID-19 and it can be overwhelming for parents and frightening to kids. Try to keep your kids informed, but not anxious, by stressing the importance of handwashing. It's one of the easiest and most effective ways we have to prevent the spread of illness, including COVID19.

 

Here are some reliable websites for your reference:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/children-faq.html

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page

https://drb.show/coronavirus

© 2020 Vilma Junio, MD, PLLC

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