Though highly contagious, you can protect your home from the novel coronavirus through proper disinfection and body hygiene. Here's how.
What is CoViD-19?
According to the World Health Organization, CoViD-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The virus is transmitted through droplets that enter the body through the eyes, nose, or throat, or through hand contact.
The CDC cites cough, fever, and shortness of breath as the three main symptoms of CoViD-19. These symptoms may appear between two to 14 days. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recommends those who experience mild symptoms to stay at home for at least seven days or 72 hours after the fever has gone.
Call the KDHE Epidemiology Hotline at 1-877-427-7317 if you suspect that you or a loved one at home has CoViD-19, or exposed to someone confirmed with CoViD-19.
Are there ways to protect my home and family against it?
Yes. According to Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious disease specialist from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, the novel coronavirus is "easily destroyed by most disinfectants."
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of safe disinfectants that you can use at home. "These products may be marketed and sold under different brand names, but if they have the same EPA registration number, they are the same product," assures the EPA on their website. You can find the list of EPA-registered products here.
A guide for homes with suspected or confirmed CoViD-19 cases
If you are living with a person or persons suspected or confirmed to have CoViD-19, the CDC recommends following these disinfecting and cleaning guidelines.
- Use disposable gloves when cleaning surfaces and handling dirty clothes. You can also use reusable gloves, but make sure to use them only on frequently touches surfaces in your home. Use disinfectants included in EPA's list in the link above by following the instructions on their labels.
- Clean frequently touched hard surfaces routinely. These include doorknobs, light switches, tables, and sinks.
- The same recommendation applies when cleaning soft surfaces such as curtains and rugs. After cleaning, throw these items in the laundry and wash accordingly. Use warm water then allow them to dry completely.
- Put dirty clothes straight into the washer. Shaking dirt off them is discouraged, to minimize the dispersal of the virus through the air.
- Clean your hands immediately after removing the gloves.
If none of your household members are suspected of or confirmed to have CoViD-19, these guidelines are still applicable as good home management measures. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
A guide for you and your family members
Good hygiene and appropriate social distancing are key to preventing the novel coronavirus from spreading. The CDC and Kansas government have strongly recommended social distancing to prevent the virus from spreading in communities. So as much as you can, stay at home!
Even at home, it's good to maintain at least three feet distance between you and another family member, especially if one of you is coughing or sneezing. Avoid any contact such as kissing and hugging or sharing utensils.
Practicing good hygiene is a commonsensical thing to do. But more so now, as we are in the middle of a pandemic. Wash hands before and after eating, after touching surfaces, and after getting home from a public place. Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more to ensure full coverage, then dry them completely using a towel. Also, remember to cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
Protecting your home from the spread of the novel coronavirus requires a lot more effort, but very worth it.