How to prevent COVID-19

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Wear a mask

THERE has been a turning point in the U.S. with many states mandating the wearing of masks to curb the spread of COVID-19. However, misinformation and mixed signals about masks continue to circulate. T

his has threatened to drown out the growing body of evidence that shows wearing masks can help fight SARS-CoV-2. Physicians want to clear up those misunderstandings to get everyone to #MaskUp.

 Watch your distance

  Physical distancing “is the No.1 one way to prevent transmission,” said Hannah Kirking, MD, medical epidemiologist for the Division of Viral Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “The person-to-person transmission is essentially when someone talks or speaks or coughs, they create little droplets, and that social distancing essentially limits your ability to be hit with anyone else’s droplet.”

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Wash your hands

Keeping your hands clean is essential because of how often people touch their faces or rub their eyes, giving virus particles their pathway into the body.

“That sounds really simple. It’s not rocket science, but it can really be effective,” said Anthony S. Fauci, MD, a member of the White House coronavirus task force and director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“It’s in our hands. … You have the dynamics of the virus which, if left to its own devices, will keep resurging. The only way to stop it is what we do as a countermeasure. It can be done.”

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Limit exposure, slow the spread

“We are assuming that some patients with COVID-19 will have minimal symptoms or might not have symptoms and that they can infect other individuals that might be at higher risks for poor outcomes,” said Odaliz Abreu Lanfranco, MD, an infectious disease expert at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, an AMA Health System Program Partner.

“By slowing the spread of COVID-19, they help their providers be able to provide the appropriate care because not everybody will come at once to the hospital.”

Dr. Abreu Lanfranco also shared four tips for physicians to help persuade patients about the importance of physical distancing.

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