Off Topic – Coronavirus Awareness in Central Florida

offtopicgraphicsWritten by Robert Voss
Editorial Writer

While Central Florida is in the clear right now from the China Coronavirus, please don’t let you guard down. There are no cases in Florida at this time. This article was written for the general public in mind to have a better understanding of what to do if they feel they have this virus.

What is the Coronavirus? Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. This information was courtesy by the World Health Organization.

At this time, I don’t recommend traveling to China from Central Florida. This virus originated from Asia. China has had the most virus cases in the world so far. Travelers who visit China maybe carriers of this virus and could spread it around the world too. Cruise ships in Asian may likely be carriers of this virus too. There are only two known cruise ships at this time that have people with this virus. However, this could change.

If you have any symptoms listed above, please put on a mask and stay away from family, friends, and coworkers. Then see your doctor. In worst cases then go to your local hospital. Not all hospitals may be able to treat this virus. ORMC in Downtown Orlando is a Trauma One Hospital for the area. This is the best place to get care in my opinion. If you are confirmed with this virus you maybe quarantined up to two weeks or longer.

Sick patients have an option whether to quarantine at home or at the hospital. Which one would you choose? Here is Florida State Statue 381.003115 on Public Health isolation and quarantines. The State Health Officer is responsible for declaring public health emergencies, issuing public health advisories, and ordering isolation or quarantines. Any order of the State Health Officer given to effectuate this paragraph shall be immediately enforceable by a law enforcement officer under s. 381.0012.

  1. Ordering an individual to be examined, tested, vaccinated, treated, isolated, or quarantined for communicable diseases that have significant morbidity or mortality and present a severe danger to public health. Individuals, who are unable or unwilling to be examined, tested, vaccinated, or treated for reasons of health, religion, or conscience may be subjected to isolation or quarantine.

(d) “Quarantine” means the separation of an individual reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease, but who is not yet ill, from individuals who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the disease. (2) Individuals who assist the State Health Officer at his or her request on a volunteer basis during a public health emergency are entitled to the benefits specified in s. 110.504(2), (3), (4), and (5). Information found online at www.leg.state.fl.us

Please note that Otownfun.com reached out to Orlando Health to get some more information on the Coronavirus and the quarantine process and have not gotten back with us.

Currently, many consumers are running to retail stores to purchase facemasks. Stores cannot keep them in stock. There is a shortage of facemasks in the world at this time. The demand is extremely high. If you don’t need them then don’t buy them.

Keep informed on this virus with your local news. If you have any questions contact a health professional.

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