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Local News

COVID-19 Explained

CoronavirusWhat exactly is COVID-19, or coronavirus? What are the symptoms? What are the best ways to prevent getting it? Dr. Tyrel Somers from Russell Regional Hospital and Russell County Health Department Administrator Paula Bitter shared answers to those questions on Wednesday's Morning Show on KRSL.

COVID-19 is a mutated virus that is dangerous because it is new, still relatively unknown, and spreads easily and rapidly said Dr. Somers.

It can infect anybody.

Dr. Somers recommends anyone over 80 should take extreme caution right now as well as older people with certain medical conditions.

Bitter explained a vaccine to treat COVID-19 is not available, but scientists are working on it.

Steps you can take to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent COVID-19. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Of course in recent days, federal, state and local governments have released guidelines to follow to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Some of those major guidelines include limiting travel, staying away from large groups and practicing social distancing, which means when you are in a group of people, try to stay about six feet away from each other.

It is unknown how long the coronavirus pandemic will last, but many of the prevention guidelines are for at least eight weeks.

If you are experiencing minor cold or flu symptoms, stay at home for at least two weeks. If you are experiencing more severe symptoms, call Russell Regional Hospital at 785-483-3131 before going to the hospital.

Listen to Dr. Somers and Bitter's full interview below.

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