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Coronavirus

Jim Boxberger - Correspondent
Posted 1/31/20

Watching the news this week from around the world, most countries are covering the coronavirus outbreak in China. Here in the United States, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is …

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Coronavirus

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Watching the news this week from around the world, most countries are covering the coronavirus outbreak in China. Here in the United States, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Coronaviruses are common in many different species of animals, including camels and bats. Rarely, these coronaviruses can evolve and infect humans and then spread between humans. 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. Recent examples of this include the SARS-Coronavirus and MERS-Coronavirus.

As of Monday January 27, 2020 when I wrote this column there were over 81 deaths in China with roughly 3,000 cases reported. In this country there have been 5 cases of this coronavirus that the CDC is monitoring, none of which is expected to be fatal. The CDC recommends prevention to protect yourself against human coronavirus infection.

You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following things. A. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. B. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick with cold-like symptoms. If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home while you are sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces, like computer keyboards, phones and door handles.

There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. According to the CDC, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms like taking pain and fever medications. Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat, stuffiness and cough. Drink plenty of fluids, stay home and rest.

If you are concerned about your symptoms not getting better after a few days, you should see your healthcare provider. But besides all the usual medications to help symtoms, there is no vaccine for coronavirus. But there are some old remedies that still hold true today, like apple cider vinegar and honey.

Honey tastes a lot better than the apple cider vinegar, but I take both on a regular basis, which helps me stay cold free. Now there is no scientific evidence that these products help prevent a cold, but there is no evidence they don't help either.

The healing power of honey has been documented for thousands of years, including being found in the Pyramids of Giza. So keep the hand sanitizer handy, but keep some honey on hand too.

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