Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China. It has now spread to a number of countries around the world. Coronavirus may be spreading, but it isn’t necessary to randomly hoard supplies. Here are some basic necessities to have at home in case of an emergency.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues, many Americans are preparing to quarantine themselves.
So far, the only people officially quarantined are those with confirmed coronavirus cases and those who have come in contact with carriers. That includes passengers on a Diamond Princess cruise ship and some residents of a Washington state nursing home where four residents have died.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has required some U.S. citizens who returned from China to be quarantined for 14 days. But local communities may have reason to respond to “severe” disruptions as the situation evolves, as the CDC said last week.
That has led many Americans to begin preparing for an extended stay at home, whether it’s encouraged by local officials or it’s a personal decision. Experts are warning against panic buying and hoarding of products such as toilet paper, water and cleaning supplies.
But there is nothing wrong with preparing for several days at home if required. “Some of the same things that we are asking people to do – washing your hands, make sure you are sneezing the right way, disinfecting things, buying some extra disinfectant, buying toiletries, buying some laundry detergent, some extra things so if you had to shelter in place now – they are things you can use later,” said American Red Cross spokesman Anthony Tornetta. “That is not necessarily a bad thing.”
Jacqueline Anne Aston of Lake View, New York, was one of many across the country who told USA TODAY that they were stocking up on food and supplies should the coronavirus situation worsen and they be asked to stay home (or prefer to on their own).
“It worries me a great deal. I feel we may be quarantined. Or things will not be available,” Aston said. She found stores selling out of face masks, bacterial soap and sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, and staples such as chicken noodle soup, canned tuna, powdered milk and large packages of crackers with peanut butter.
Health and emergency officials have long recommended homes have an emergency preparedness kit to at least get you through several days at home without power.
Should there be a quarantine issued by local authorities – or you self-impose one on you and your family – it would be unlikely to go beyond 14 days, which is the expected incubation period.
Here’s a checklist for some suggested items:
Fresh fruits and vegetables will likely spoil over 14 days, so canned foods that have a long storage life and need little or no cooking are recommended. Meat products, fish or beans, soups, broths and stews, fruits and fruit juices, vegetables, canned (or powdered) milk, are among good supply choices recommended by the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Disaster Education Network.
Frozen foods are an option, too. Other recommended foods are peanut butter, jelly, crackers, nuts, trail mix, dried fruits, granola bars, bouillon cubes, and staples like sugar, salt, pepper. (Keep in mind you may need to include some special foods for babies and family members on special diets, as well as pet foods.)
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests you have plenty of fluids on hand, such as bottled water and supply of fluids with electrolytes, such as Pedialyte or Gatorade.
You will want to have a 14-day supply of any prescription medications for those in your home. You may also want over-the-counter pain relievers, antacids, cough and cold medicines, and vitamins. Get medicine coupons and promo codes to save.
Many homes already have a 14-day supply of most daily items on hand. But make sure you have toothpaste, toilet paper, feminine supplies, diapers, laundry detergent and disinfectant. Get home supplies deals and discounts.
Perhaps have some board games, cards, toys books, magazines and other fun items to keep the family occupied. Get games and toys coupon codes to save.
In the days ahead, people should listen “to the CDC and pay attention to their local governments and know where they can go to get up to the minute information” about the outbreak, Tornetta said.
“If you are out and you are at Target or Walmart or at a grocery store and you have the ability to pick up a few things, by all means (do) … and use those to start building a safety preparedness kit that you can use no matter what the disaster is, whether you have to shelter in place or flee your home,” he said. “Now is the time to prepare.”
Here are some frequently asked questions about coronavirus.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
Read more info here.