Your COVID-19 primer for Monday, March 23
COVID-19 has claimed another life in Oregon, raising the state's death toll from to four to five.
The Oregon Health Authority on Sunday reported 24 new cases of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the new coronavirus — bringing the state total to 161, as of 8 a.m. Sunday.
The new COVID-19 cases reported Sunday include 13 in Washington County; three in Marion County; two each in Benton and Yamhill counties; and one each in Clackamas, Deschutes, Lane and Multnomah counties.
Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day at the Health Authority website.
Oregon reports one new COVID-19 death in Linn County; a veteran in his 90s who tested positive on March 11, and who died Sunday morning at the Oregon Veterans Home. He had underlying medical conditions.
Gov. Kate Brown is expected today to issue stronger stay-at-home rules for the entire state, after the first day of what traditionally is spring break saw large crowds at popular tourism venues, with thousands ignoring government pleas of social distancing.
The leaders of the three metro-area counties, along with 18 mayors in the region, have asked the governor to make the stay-at-home rules more stringent.
Editor's note: The CDC has not updated its website on the coronavirus since Friday. These numbers will be updated later today:
The center is not updating its website on weekends.
As of Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a total of 15,219 COVID-19 cases in the United States. That's up sharply from Thursday, when the count hit 10,4422 cases.
The rapid increase in cases likely stems from further testing, rather than an actual increase in infections.
The CDC reports a total of 201 deaths as of Thursday. That's up from 150 deaths on Wednesday.
The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on Jan. 21.
Readers can track the daily spread of the disease here.
What do we know about COVID-19?
It's a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
The name COVID-19 stems from the disease's origin: (CO)rona(VI)rus (D)isease that first emerged in 20(19).
The virus causing COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. Find out more at the CDC website.
How is it spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another — "close" meaning within about 6 feet — through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. (It also may be possible that people can get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.) Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at this site.
As of Monday, March 16, the CDC is recommending that no gatherings of 50 people or more be held in the United States for the next two months.
What are the symptoms?
Most patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, a cough and shortness of breath. In the more severe cases, some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and, in some cases, death.
How can I help protect myself?
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
What should you do if you're sick?
Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. And clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19?
If you have traveled from an affected area, there may be restrictions on your movements for up to two weeks. If you develop symptoms during that period — such as a fever, cough or trouble breathing — seek medical advice. Call your health care provider before you go, and explain about your travel and your symptoms. Your health care provider will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don't go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.
Is there a vaccine?
Just like the common cold, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.
Is there a treatment?
There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms. Call your doctor first before going it, to avoid exposing others.
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