What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has 2019-nCoV?

steve 30 January, 2020 0

A: There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, 2019-nCoV infection available online.

Prevention Steps for People Confirmed to Have, or Being Evaluated for 2019-nCoV Infection Who Receive Care at Home

Your doctors and public health staff will evaluate whether you can be cared for at home. If it is determined that you can be isolated at home, you will be monitored by staff from your local or state health department. You should follow the prevention steps below until a healthcare provider or local or state health department says you can return to your normal activities.

Stay home except to get medical care

You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transportation or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people in your home

As much as possible, you should stay in a different room from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

Before your medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, 2019-nCoV infection. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected.

Wear a facemask

You should wear a facemask when you are in the same room with other people and when you visit a healthcare provider. If you cannot wear a facemask, the people who live with you should wear one while they are in the same room with you.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water.

Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before going to your medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, 2019-nCoV infection. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department.

Prevention Steps for Caregivers and Household Members

If you live with, or provide care at home for, a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, 2019-nCoV infection, you should:

  • Make sure that you understand and can help the person follow the healthcare provider’s instructions for medication and care. You should help the person with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.
  • Have only people in the home who are essential for providing care for the person.
    • Other household members should stay in another home or place of residence. If this is not possible, they should stay in another room, or be separated from the person as much as possible. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
    • Restrict visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.
    • Keep elderly people and those who have compromised immune systems or chronic health conditions away from the person. This includes people with chronic heart, lung or kidney conditions, and diabetes.
  • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wear a disposable facemask, gown, and gloves when you touch or have contact with the person’s blood, body fluids and/or secretions, such as sweat, saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine, or diarrhea.
    • Throw out disposable facemasks, gowns, and gloves after using them. Do not reuse.
    • Wash your hands immediately after removing your facemask, gown, and gloves.
  • Avoid sharing household items. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with a person who is confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, 2019-nCoV infection. After the person uses these items, you should wash them thoroughly (see below “Wash laundry thoroughly”).
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, body fluids and/or secretions or excretions on them.
    • Read label of cleaning products and follow recommendations provided on product labels. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves or aprons and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
    • Use a diluted bleach solution or a household disinfectant with a label that says “EPA-approved.” To make a bleach solution at home, add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) of water. For a larger supply, add ¼ cup of bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly.
    • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, body fluids and/or secretions or excretions on them.
    • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items. Wash your hands immediately after removing your gloves.
    • Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, wash and dry with the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
  • Place all used disposable gloves, gowns, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing them with other household waste. Wash your hands immediately after handling these items.
  • Monitor the person’s symptoms. If they are getting sicker, call his or her medical provider and tell them that the person has, or is being evaluated for, 2019-nCoV infection. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected. Ask the healthcare provider to call the local or state health department.
  • Caregivers and household members who do not follow precautions when in close contact with a person who is confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, 2019-nCoV infection, are considered “close contacts” and should monitor their health. Follow the prevention steps for close contacts below.
  • Discuss any additional questions with you state or local health department

Prevention Steps for Close Contacts

If you have had close contact with someone who is confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, 2019-nCoV infection, you should:

  • Monitor your health starting from the day you first had close contact with the person and continue for 14 days after you last had close contact with the person. Watch for these signs and symptoms:
    • Fever. Take your temperature twice a day.
    • Coughing.
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
    • Other early symptoms to watch for are chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose.
  • If you develop fever or any of these symptoms, call your healthcare provider right away.
  • Before going to your medical appointment, be sure to tell your healthcare provider about your close contact with someone who is confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, 2019-nCoV infection. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department.
  • If you do not have any symptoms, you can continue with your daily activities, such as going to work, school, or other public areas.

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