COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Viruses – Protecting You and Your Family

COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Viruses – Protecting You and Your Family

As the attention around COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to increase within our communities, across the country and around the world, stopping the spread of germs is at the forefront of our minds.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. While news of this particular coronavirus strain can be worrisome, we are also at the peak of influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season and recommend you practice good hygiene to help prevent the spread of all germs.

  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Use antibacterial hand rub frequently. Keep bottles nearby at all times.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people, stay home if you or anyone in your family are sick.
  • Coughing and sneezing into the arm or elbow is the best way to avoid the spread of your germs and any droplets – lead by example and teach your kids to do this.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands after using a tissue to catch a cough or sneeze.
  • Disinfect common areas and household items regularly -- infected droplets from a cough or sneeze in the eyes, nose or mouth are contagious.

If you or your child get sick or suspect symptoms of COVID-19, stay home, limit contact with others and call your primary care physician for screening. In case of a medical emergency, call 911 or visit the closest emergency department. If an emergency room visit is appropriate, please let staff know about your possible exposure and/or symptoms immediately upon arrival.

Information on COVID-19 is rapidly evolving so rely on trustworthy resources such as the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, California Health Information Association or the World Health Organization for updates on COVID-19.


by Dr. M. Nael Mhaissen
Medical Director of Infectious Disease Division and Infection Prevention and Control
Valley Children’s Healthcare

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