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How do I prepare for the coronavirus?

The spread of a new coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, has sparked concern worldwide.
(Getty Images/Wildpixel)

WASHINGTON (TEGNA) — The spread of a new coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, has sparked concern worldwide.

As there is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, the best way to prepare and protect yourself is to avoid exposure. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following to prevent getting COVID-19:

  • Avoiding close contact with those who are sick
  • Not touching your eyes, mouth or nose, especially with unwashed hands
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

The CDC says the risk to the general public is still low. Nevertheless, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC's director of the National Center for the Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said individuals and communities should begin preparing for a potential outbreak in the U.S. by implementing "non-pharmaceutical intervention methods."

Parents should inquire local schools about its outbreak plans, including whether or not schools will close and if schools have tele-schooling options. Parents should also plan to have childcare options available in case schools do close.

SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person, mainly between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet) with each other. It is spread via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets land on the noses and mouths of over people, who then inhale them.

The CDC says it may be possible for the virus to spread by touching a surface or object with the virus, but this is not thought to be the main method of spread. As the virus was only discovered a few months ago, more research is needed to further determine the spread pattern of the virus.