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Here’s How To Prepare For The Coronavirus

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The coronavirus has arrived in the U.S., and it’s already beginning to cause an uproar in American communities.

So far, thousands of people throughout the world have died due to the virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The exact number of fatalities is unknown, but six Americans have died since the disease hit U.S. shores, and at least 15 states are currently treating patients with the virus. Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have both declared states of emergency over the disease. So, what steps can Americans take to avoid the disease?

Have a steady supply of food: In order to prepare for a potential outbreak, it would be helpful to make sure your pantry and refrigerator are stocked. The Red Cross is urging people to “have a supply of food staples and household supplies” ready to go in case the outbreak worsens. Non-perishables, like many canned goods, are often recommended in instances like these.

Keep up with the news: It’s important to keep up with the latest developments to know if the coronavirus has made it to your community or if places of work and schools are shutting down because of the virus. White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney predicted in February that some schools and public transportation will be shut down as a result of the virus.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the beginning of a new conference with members of the coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House February 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Refill your prescriptions: If you have medicine prescribed to you, it would be beneficial to make sure they are all refilled in case pharmacies in your area close as a result of the virus. The Red Cross is advising people to “make sure you have at least a 30-day supply of your prescription medications.”

Have a plan for elderly relatives: The coronavirus has primarily impacted older populations, so if you have older relatives, especially ones that get sick fairly frequently, it’s important to make sure they get treatment as quickly and efficiently as possible. The Red Cross says that “people with elderly parents or relatives should have a plan in place for caring for them if they fall ill.”

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Wash your hands regularly: The World Health Organization (WHO) is advising people to frequently wash their hands with soap and water, or “alcohol-based hand rub.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also advised Americans to always wash their hands before meals, after coughing, and “with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.”

Don’t touch your face: The WHO and CDC are also warning people to avoid touching their face. The CDC are advising people to avoid touching their “eyes, nose, and mouth,” while the WHO said that “once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus” to the facial orifices.

Know when to wear a mask: Prices for respiratory masks have skyrocketed in recent weeks as people take measures to try to avoid the disease. The CDC stated that if you are healthy, there is no need to wear a mask, but if you are displaying symptoms, you should wear a mask in public.

Go to the doctor if you have symptoms: The WHO is urging people to go to the doctor if they “have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing.”

Don’t go to work sick: Major health organizations including the WHO have warned about the dangers of going to work or school sick. The WHO wrote to “stay home if you feel unwell.” (RELATED: Nearly 10% Of Iranian Lawmakers Are Infected With Coronavirus, Iran’s State Media Reports)

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A medical staff member sprays disinfectant on a colleague as they prepare to transfer patients infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus from Wuhan No.5 Hospital. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The WHO has stated that more than 20 potential vaccines for the coronavirus are in the works, but did not estimate how long development would take. (RELATED: Scientists Uncertain If Warmer Weather Will Slow Coronavirus)

In the meantime, you can take these steps to ensure your health and safety.