But how serious is the infection and how many can die from it?
A recent study found the death rate to be 2.3%. That’s about 2-3 people in 100 infected but more than the flu. Although we are still learning about it, this is relatively low compared to other word epidemic infections such as SARS, which is closer to 10%.
There’s some comforting news for children – only a handful have been infected worldwide. By first reports, the children are not getting sick and seem to do better with it than most adults. In fact, out of nine infants that did contract the virus in China, none of them had severe illness or required to be in the hospital.
This is not to say that coronavirus is not serious. It has an incubation period of 2 to 14 days, so you could have it without symptoms for days. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. Also, there have been some case reports of it being spread by people who don’t have symptoms. Lastly, it seems that if you get it, the cough and other symptoms can persist for a few weeks.
What can you do as a parent?
Just like any other infection including colds and the flu, the best way to treat it is to prevent it. This means getting back to basics.
Hand wash, hand wash, hand wash.
This is one of the most effective ways to avoid viruses and germs. But you gave to do it right. Wash your hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Have your children wash their hands as soon as they get back from school or child care, AND wash their hands before they eat. You can use hand sanitizer if water is not available, but make sure the alcohol content is 60% or more.
If the children have a cough, teach them to cough into their shoulder. Cough droplets can travel far, and this is how viruses spread. Viruses can live on surfaces for 24 hours. Laptops and smart devices are constantly being touched. Make sure you wipe counters, door handles and computers often. Have a good nutrition and sleep.
Coronavirus is here but from what we know so far, it is a mild infection for most people. Using old fashioned prevention tips can protect the family – not just from coronavirus, but also colds, coughs, flu and other nasty infections.
Source: KK Publishers