Right now, the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the coronavirus, also called COVID-19, are to practice good hygiene and social distancing. Good hygiene should be focused on regular and thorough hand-washing, which has actually been shown to be more effective than hand sanitizer. However, hand sanitizer can be used in a pinch or when washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is not possible. Other good hygiene techniques according to the CDC include giving up shaking hands, refraining from touching your face, covering your coughs and sneezes and regularly disinfecting high touch surfaces, such as doorknobs and desks.
Recommendations for social distancing are changing all the time, and it is always best to follow the guidelines put in place by your local health department or by your state. However, at this time, the CDC recommends having groups of no more than 50 in a room at one time. The White House recommends limiting this number to 10 for the next two weeks. In addition, when you are in a public space, be sure to put at least 3 to 6 feet of space between you and the next individual.
Other good tips include the following:
-Work from home if possible.
-Do not share foods and drinks.
-Limit or postpone discretionary travel.
-Increase ventilation by opening windows.
How to Spot Coronavirus Warning Signs and Initial Symptoms
While the majority of people who come down with coronavirus will experience mild symptoms and some will even be asymptomatic, you should know what symptoms to watch out for during this time. The most frequently seen symptoms include the following:
-Shortness of breath
Initial symptoms may show up within 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. More severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, blue-tinged lips or confusion, should be treated immediately in an emergency setting.
What to Do If You Suspect You Are Infected
If you notice any initial symptoms, be sure to call ahead to your medical provider to find out what you should do. He may recommend coming to a drive-through testing spot if you get a doctor’s order for the test or may recommend that you treat your symptoms at home. If you believe that you are sick, be sure to stay at home except for recommended medical care. Additionally, limit your contact with anyone in your household as well as with your pets. Try to stay in only one room of your home, and use a dedicated bathroom.
How Caring for Your Oral Health Improves Your Overall Health During This Time
Oral health is certainly important to your overall health and is, in fact, tied to such things as cardiovascular health and even immune health. When bacteria are allowed to grow in your mouth, they can create a chain reaction that increases inflammation in your body and delays your immune response. Healthy saliva is even necessary to break down certain bacteria and viruses that enter your body through your mouth. Because studies show that those who have gum disease are approximately 40 percent more likely than others to have a chronic disease that could weaken their immune response, it is vital to take good care of your teeth and gums at this time.
As social distancing becomes more important and health care workers face limited supplies of personal protective equipment, you may find that your dentist cancels elective procedures. However, you can still turn to your dental professional for emergency care and for advice on how to best care for your oral health at home.