Recommendations for Staying Well and General Information for the Public
Everyone can do their part to respond to this public health threat. It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking precautions (noted below) to help stop the spread of germs, as well as taking flu antivirals, if prescribed.
- Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
- Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
- Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Who in the Community is at the Greatest Risk?
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at a higher risk of getting very sick from this illness, including:
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
The CDC reports some other groups of people may also be at a higher risk for severe illness, including:
If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. An outbreak is when a large number of people suddenly get sick.
Depending on how severe the outbreak is, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce people’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.
If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it’s very important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.