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Whenever there is a cold or flu season people are on high alert, especially parents. Now with the news that there is a new virus called “The Coronavirus”, it has everyone even more freaked out.

When such kinds of infectious diseases make headlines, parents naturally get worried sick. For the past few days, coronavirus has been spreading around the world. Over two thousand cases have been confirmed so far!

As a mom, even I was freaked out when I heard about this virus and wanted to remain as vigilant as I can be. As parents, nothing is more disturbing than any harm to our kids.

So, as a mother, I wanted to write this post so that I can create some awareness according to my own research.

Here’s what Parents need to know about the Coronavirus.

What is Coronavirus?

First off, what is coronavirus? According to the CDC, it’s a common virus that has been around for many years, so it isn’t exactly new:

“Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. Seven different coronaviruses, that scientists know of, can infect people and make them sick. Some human coronaviruses were identified many years ago and some have been identified recently. Human coronaviruses commonly cause mild to moderate illness in people worldwide. Two newer human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have been known to frequently cause severe illness.”

So, coronavirus is a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans.

The reason this is making headlines is that it is a new strain of the Coronavirus which was first identified in Wuhan, China. According to the CDC:

“Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in hundreds of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan City, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020”

Map of confirmed Outbreaks of Coronavirus
Map of confirmed Outbreaks (Image Credit: CDC)

The fertility of this virus is similar to the Spanish Flu that once happened around 100 years ago and killed 50,000,000 people. There is NO WAY this virus can go that bad. But it is essential to understand the basics.

What Causes The Coronavirus And How Does It Spread?

Experts think 2019-nCoV (coronavirus) comes from an animal, though they have not yet identified the specific source.

Again, they believe it may have come from snakes and bats, but it’s really too early to know for sure (testing is currently being done).

The market place with such kinds of animals may be potential to the virus. Still, we don’t know how the virus started, it’s confirmed it was a market in Wuhan, China.

coronavirus infection

More than 1,000 people have been sickened and at least 41 have died since a coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December. Chinese authorities have recently reported around 25 deaths from this virus in Wuhan, China. Two cases are confirmed in the U.S and other potential cases across the country.

Human coronavirus most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • The air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close contact – shaking hands, touching or hugging
  • Touching objects that are affected with virus and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth without washing hands.
  • Rarely – fecal contamination

What Are The Symptoms Of Coronavirus?

Coronavirus infections, in general, are indistinguishable from other respiratory infections. In mild cases, fever, sore throat, running nose, headache, and cough are the main symptoms. Pretty much the standard flu!

Nevertheless, when a deadly virus spreads around the world it is everyone’s responsibility to never underestimate any symptoms. Experts say it could take years to develop coronavirus vaccine. That’s why we need to take it seriously.

It is so important that if you or your children feel these symptoms don’t go to work or even outside as much as you can.

Health experts and other officials in the United States are taking precautions. So, we should too!

Now, Should We As Parents Be Worried?

Right now, no!

It is scary in the sense it’s a new virus but it’s too early to panic especially if you live in the United States. We can’t know what to do when we don’t exactly know what it is yet. Even the World Health Organization made a statement about this saying:

According to Dr. Mark Mulligan, M.D. division director of the infectious diseases and vaccine center at NYU Langone Medical Center,

“I think there’s no need at all for panic, given the precautions the United States government is taking,”.

The C.D.C. is currently screening all direct and connecting flights from Wuhan, China to main sectors in the U.S.

Dr. Mulligan also added,

“Flu is killing a lot more Americans, including children. There’s no doubt the influenza virus will cause many more illnesses, hospitalizations and even deaths than this coronavirus.”

There are some precautions we can definitely take, and that’s what is enough for now.

How can you protect yourself and your children from Coronavirus?

Ok, mama! Here you go. I think this was enough information for parents to understand what coronavirus is, how it spreads, and should you be worried about it or not. Moving on, as parents, what we can do to protect ourselves and kids from this virus?

Do Not Panic

As parents we are aware, we can’t do anything about this virus. So, panicking about it will only make the situation worse. The only thing we can do is to prevent our family from becoming victims of coronavirus by taking extra precautions.

According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus outbreak is not an international public health emergency.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said,

“CDC believes the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low at this time, but the situation is evolving rapidly. We have our best people working on this problem.”

Trust me, with two little ones at home, I wanted nothing more than to panic but after reading more about the Coronavirus, but I decided it was too early to do that. So, there is no need to panic about the virus.

Stress On Hygiene

I cannot STRESS ENOUGH how good hygiene is important for not just protection from coronavirus but from the prevention of any kind of virus, in general.

Since experts are still unclear on how exactly the virus is transmitted. They are still pretty sure, that we should take the same steps we would take to prevent our kids from the common flu or cold.

As of right now, based on what the CDC and WHO are saying everyone needs to follow the same guidelines we do for cold and flu. The CDC offers the following tips for protecting your family from the coronavirus:

  • “Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.”
  • “Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.”
  • “Avoid close contact with people who are sick.”

Encourage kids to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Tell them to do it many times throughout the day.

wash hands- coronavirus treatment

Use sanitizers during work and even after coming back from work. Also, make sure you and your kids wash hands before and after you eat anything, after using the bathroom, throwing trash and so on.

Prevention is always better than cure! So make sure you implement all the precautionary measures to protect yourself and your family from coronavirus.

Avoid People And Places

Of course, if you have little ones, avoid crowded places and try not to take them out often this time of the year. Although travel is absolutely fine – as long as you’re not going to China.

If you see someone experiencing symptoms like coughing or sneezing, try to keep your kids as far away from them as possible. This same goes for their schools as well.

When you send your kids to school, teach them to stay away from people who are having a cold or flu. This is to protect them from any type of virus. According to Dr. Meissner,

“We believe that the respiratory secretions from coronaviruses can’t travel more than six feet.”

We may see people in Wuhan wearing surgical masks but for that Dr. Gordon explains,

“I’m more concerned about a mask affecting a child’s breathing than I am about them contracting the virus at this point.”

According to CDC, if you become sick you can take the following measures to protect others:

  • stay home when you are sick
  • avoid any close contact with others
  • cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with the tissue, and then throw it in the trash and wash your hands
  • clean and disinfect objects and surfaces surrounding you

Get Vaccinated

Vaccination is important for any type of disease. So, make sure you and your family (included) have received a flu shot.

Concerning the death rate reaching a thousand this year, including 54 in children and two cases of coronavirus Dr. Schaffner said,

“Parents are used to the flu, so they don’t worry as much about it. But taking steps to protect their children from it is much more important”, he added.

Protect yourself and your kids by getting vaccinated right on time! 

Go For A Test

Finally, if you feel any symptoms in you or your family members you can immediately have a test.

When public health officials suspect someone may have coronavirus, they can send respiratory and serum samples to the CDC.

This is to find out if it’s coronavirus or just the flu. The results come within about 24 hours. And you can know are the symptoms just related to flu or is it actually the virus.

Still No Fatalities In Children

For some reason, coronavirus is seen to be striking more adults than children. The youngest victim of the confirmed case of coronavirus is 36 years of age.

Official data suggested that most of the previous victims were between the ages of 65 and 80. Most of the fatal cases in China have been in individuals over 60 years of age and more men than women have been impacted.

You can take an example of the seasonal flu. Plenty of kids in the U.S. get the influenza virus each year. But far fewer kids than adults die from the disease.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, this puts your mind at ease a little. Don’t panic, mamas! This illness is likely to be in the headlines for months, but it doesn’t mean we have to live our whole lives in fear.

We just need to be proactive, precautious and keep washing those little hands. It’s too early for anyone to do anything more than keep our kids home and away from sick individuals.

My heart goes out to all the people who are affected by this virus. Let us wish all the best to the people who are affected by a coronavirus. I really hope we all come together to prevent this from spreading further as not doctors, experts but as regular people.

I hope you liked the article. I want you guys to share this knowledge with as many parents as you can. So that all of us can benefit from this simple information.

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