Arizona health officials advise good hygiene practices amid coronavirus

Mar 9, 2020, 5:05 AM | Updated: 12:42 pm
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)...
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

PHOENIX — With the number of Arizona coronavirus cases on the rise, health officials are advising people to take precautions.

Five people in Arizona have tested positive for the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

“All signs are pointing to this disease acting a lot like the flu in our community,” said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

“The only difference is that it’s a little more contagious than the flu, and we don’t have a treatment or a vaccine.”

Sunenshine said older adults and those with chronic health conditions are at higher risk of getting infected and suffering severe complications. She said children tend to be at lower risk of getting the disease and becoming severely sick from it.

“Just like the flu, the vast majority of people will have mild symptoms and completely recover without any treatment at home,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

An infected individual can pass on the disease to someone who’s within about 6 feet through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

On Friday, state and county health officials confirmed a woman in her 40’s was the first patient in Arizona to have gotten coronavirus through “community spread,” meaning she had no travel history or known contact with an infected person.

Dr. Shauna McIsaac, director of the Pinal County Public Health Department, said there are several steps she recommends the public to take in order to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus.

“Please wash your hands frequently and for 20 seconds using soap,” she said. “Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, which are the ways germs enter your body.”

McIsaac added people who are sick should stay home to avoid getting others sick.

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