Michigan residents and organizations are scrambling to react to news that cases of coronavirus has been confirmed in the state, an announcement made late Tuesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
In recent days, Whitmer has ordered the closure of all schools, starting Monday; universities and colleges have moved to online classes, and March Madness and a slew of other sporting events have been canceled.
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
How long does coronavirus last?
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to accelerate in the U.S., cleaning supplies are disappearing off the shelves and people are worried about every subway rail, deli counter and toilet seat they touch.
But how long can the new coronavirus linger on surfaces, anyway? The short answer is, we don’t know. A new analysis found that the virus can remain viable in the air for up to 3 hours, on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 2 to 3 days.
The NIH researchers compared the new coronavirus’ lifespan on surfaces to that of the SARS coronavirus. They found that both coronaviruses lived the longest on stainless steel and polypropylene, a type of plastic used in everything from toys to car parts. Both viruses lasted up to 3 days on plastic, and the new coronavirus lasted up to 3 days on steel.
How many people have died from coronavirus?
All over the world:
coronavirus cases: 146,351
Source: WHO, CDC, NHC, AND DINGXIANGYUAN, VIA JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
PREVENTION TIPS CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Michigan’s State Emergency Operations Center is coordinating state-government resources and the response to the coronavirus spread. It has shared the following tips:
What you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases:
· Always cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
· Stay home if you are sick and advise others to do the same.
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
· Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if soap and warm water are not available.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (computers, keyboards, desks, etc.).
· It’s not too late to get your flu shot! While the influenza vaccine does not protect against COVID-19 infection, it can help keep you healthy during the flu season.