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How do patients with respiratory illness protect themselves during the spread of the coronavirus?

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on March 21st, 2020

The American Lung Association has guided how to remain protected as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) becomes widespread throughout the United States. The best possible way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid getting exposed to the virus because currently, there is no vaccine to prevent this illness.

The novel coronavirus is known to spread mainly from one person to another, especially when people are in crowded places. The infection spreads through respiratory droplets that are released into the air when an infected individual sneezes or coughs. These droplets may be inhaled or just get landed on the nose and mouths of people nearby. Additionally, touching a surface contaminated with the virus and then touching the nose, eyes, and mouth can also cause a spread of the infection. The CDC has reported that the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 appear between 2 and 14 days of exposure to the novel coronavirus, and may include fever, dry cough, and difficulty in breathing.

At-risk group for COVID-19 includes the seniors and people with chronic health conditions

The COVID-19, much like the seasonal flu attacks the older adults and people with underlying health problems, who are likely to have a weak immune system. Specifically, the people living with chronic respiratory illnesses namely asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and other interstitial lung diseases such as asbestosis need to strictly follow the public health warnings such as social distancing and avoiding public places.

If you have underlying respiratory disease, it means you are at risk of contracting the coronavirus, therefore, it is important to watch out for any potential symptoms such as fever, a cough, or shortness of breath that has increased from your baseline. Stay on your regular medications as directed by your physician and see that you do not run out of your prescription medicines.

Precautionary steps that help prevent COVID-19 and its spread

First and foremost, patients with underlying respiratory diseases need to protect their health during the COVID-19 outbreak and also take steps to protect others by preventing the spread.

Taking steps to protect yourself

  • Frequent hand washing: Clean your hands often using soap and water for about 20 seconds. This should be mandatorily done after returning from a public place or after coughing/sneezing/blowing your nose. If water and soap are unavailable, use a sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol. Apply over all the surfaces of your hands and rub until it feels dry
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with hands that are not clean.
  • Avoid large crowds and being in close contact with people who seem to be sick. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and other people if there is a rapid spread of COVID-19 in your community.

Taking steps to protect others

  • Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue while sneezing and coughing or else use the inside portion of your elbow.
  • Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or else rub your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains 70% alcohol.
  • Put on a facemask if you are sick, particularly when you are around people or sharing a vehicle or a room.
  • Frequently touched objects such as tables, countertops, handles, phones, light switches, and keyboards should be cleaned and disinfected daily.

We provide quality legal assistance to people whose respiratory disease is the result of asbestos exposure

In the unfortunate case, you have a history of occupational or military asbestos exposure and developed a respiratory disease such as emphysema, asbestosis or lung cancer, our attorneys, who have over 25 years of experience in pursuing compensation for asbestos victims and their family members, will help you file a claim with asbestos trust funds and with the VA if you are a veteran who was exposed to asbestos while serving in the military. Although the legal process is very complex and tedious, your involvement will be minimal, as you will only have to send your attorney your employment or military records and your medical records, documents that will be used as evidence to support your claim. Furthermore, to gather additional proof, our legal experts will conduct thorough research. Eventually, you will recover the maximum compensation you qualify for. However, it is essential to take legal action as soon as possible, as asbestos exposure cases have a statute of limitations of 3 years in the majority of states. If it expires, you will lose your right to compensation.