The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that it is likely that the spread of coronavirus will reach pandemic levels, as scientists still are trying to solve how to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
In the meantime, the CDC has offered some tips it believes will help prevent the spread of the disease.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
And if you get develop mild symptoms, the World Health Organization recommends staying home.
"Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover," the WHO said. "Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses."
One problem with the coronavirus compared to similar diseases is that not every person carrying the disease will show significant symptoms. This could mean someone could spread the disease to someone else without them knowing it.
"Now it's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen, and how many people in this country will become infected, and how many of those will develop severe or more complicated disease," CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said.
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .