Every day the world map becomes more populated with red markers showing the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).  There’s not a lot known about this virus but what we do know is that there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19.  Trade shows are being canceled, flights are being directed or canceled and trips are being disrupted.  Likewise, non-travelers are being impacted by school closings, stock market fluctuations and shortage of supplies like face masks.

So how does one protect themselves from an unknown outbreak?

The only way to prevent yourself from getting sick is not to be exposed to it while also practicing good personal hygiene, such as:

  • Staying home when sick
  • Not touching your mouth, eyes or nose
  • Don’t get near sick people
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and other objects regularly
  • Use a facemask as recommended by the CDC
  • Wash hands with soap for 20 seconds after every bathroom visit, before eating and after you sneeze, cough or blow your nose
  • Use a hand-sanitizer with a 60 percent alcohol content
  • Wash hands thoroughly when hands are visibly dirty

There is antiviral treatment at this time, but supportive care for symptoms can help alleviate suffering. People with a severe case need to seek medical treatment. Anybody who suspects they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 should see their doctor right away.

For people looking to travel, postponing or canceling travel plans may be in people’s best interest. Travel notices are being posted, and places are assessed on possible health risks. The CDC has three alerts travelers should be mindful of:

  • Watch 1 – No need to cancel or postpone travel plans with the risk of COVID-19 being low. But people are advised to take necessary personal hygiene precautions such as washing hands and avoiding contact with people who are sick.
  • Alert Level 2 – People who are sick and have chronic conditions or are older need to talk with their doctor and should not travel to places that have a level 2 travel notice.
  • Warning Level 3 – CDC suggests people cancel non-essential travel to locations with a level 3 travel notice due to COVID-19.

When it comes to layovers, people are advised not to leave the airport where COVID-19 has been reported. They may also be screened and monitored when arriving in the U.S.

If a person decides to cancel due to fear of the COVID-19 outbreak, it is possible to get a refund of monies paid in. However, it’s the company itself that determines if a refund is warranted and the CDC or other health official cannot intervene in this process. Many companies make decisions based on the CDC’s policies about travel health notices. If you’re traveling overseas, you may want to invest in the trip cancellation insurance to protect your financial investment.

Airlines and cruise companies are thoroughly cleaning their planes and ships to get rid of the COVID-19 and other viruses to prevent future customers from getting sick. It’s not known if the virus remains on soft and hard surfaces and if the virus can be spread that way, but they are stepping up their efforts to combat the disease.

As always, practice good personal hygiene to keep yourself from getting sick and follow all CDC recommended guidelines to protect yourself.

This World Brief was written by contributor Susan Powell.  Source:  CDC.gov

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