The coronavirus is a pneumonia-like virus that affects the respiratory system. In early January, China experienced an outbreak of this virus that has made its way to the United States and caught the attention of Pleasant Valley students.
There are currently five confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States. Many Americans are worried about the virus spreading throughout the country as it has already resulted in over 100 deaths and has been declared as a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. One of the five confirmed cases was found in Chicago, Illinois which quickly grabbed the attention of citizens in the Quad Cities.
The district was aware the virus has been found in Chicago, but as of now Pleasant Valley is not very concerned with the risk of the coronavirus spreading to the area. “Unless we have students who have traveled there [Chicago] recently or have family members that have,” said Mary Johnson, the substitute nurse, “We aren’t concerned with the situation.”
Symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to those of a common cold: fever, cough, headache, runny nose, sore throat and shortness of breath. These symptoms can be recognized in as few as two days after exposure. After the symptoms become present, doctors recommend seeing a doctor immediately to prevent transmission. The virus is transmitted through direct and indirect contact.
There are precautions to take which help prevent contraction of the coronavirus. Doctors say that it is best to stay away from people who may be affected, but to also perform other preventative measures like washing hands often, avoid touching or rubbing eyes with unwashed hands, cover sneezes and coughs, and disinfect surfaces often.
To stay healthy students are participating in these actions, “I am washing my hands regularly throughout the day and not sharing drinks and things that include me sharing saliva,” said Isabel Russmann, a junior at Pleasant Valley.
Many people are also going an extra step by wearing masks to avoid any possible contact with outside elements that could enter through the mouth or nose. However, this is not always necessary. “Wash your hands! That’s the best way to stay healthy,” said Johnson.