CORONAVIRUS AT WORK
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW?
What Is a Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a strain of the SARS-CoV virus, known for its typical morphology with crown-like spikes on its surface. Till now, seven known coronaviruses can infect humans. Here is a list of coronavirus strains that have infected humans:
- MERS-CoV (or MERS)
- SARS-CoV (or SARS)
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus
Coronavirus usually causes upper respiratory illness, and symptoms include a runny nose, cough, and fever. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is a more severe strain, causing pneumonia, cardiac arrest, acute respiratory disorder, and more severe symptoms.
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Recent Coronavirus Outbreaks
Notable coronavirus outbreaks in the last 20 years include:
This is the first-ever reported coronavirus spread in the world. During 2003, SARS spread over 20 countries before it was successfully contained. However, SARS-CoV was not a global pandemic.
Due to the virus’s origin in the Middle East, the virus was named MERS-CoV or Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. MERS was first identified in 2012. There have been travel-related cases reported globally, including in the USA and Canada. Disease transmission is associated with camels.
2019 Novel Coronavirus:
This is the most severe strain of coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, Hubei in China. Due to the quick spread of this virus, it has infected millions of people worldwide over the last ten months. Till now, the Novel Coronavirus has affected more than 150 countries and islands.
How Do Coronaviruses Spread?
Human coronaviruses have a very similar spread mechanism as the flu. Transmission is most common when the weather is cold, especially in the fall or winter. Some of the most common spread is through:
- Cough or sneeze droplets
- Through air (closed space like hospitals)
- Close personal contact, touching and shaking hands
- Touching a contaminated object with the virus on it and then touching eyes, nose, or mouth
- Rarely, fecal contamination
What Are the Symptoms of a Coronavirus?
Symptoms of coronaviruses can be very similar to common flu. However, the symptoms may vary slightly from strain to strain. Common symptoms include cold symptoms, fever, dry cough, mild breathing difficulties, light gastrointestinal issues, and fatigue.
Symptoms may appear between 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Some of the common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Severe symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
Contact the emergency helpline immediately if you or anyone you know is experiencing the severe symptoms mentioned above.
How Is Coronavirus Treated?
In an effort to decrease transmission and minimize severity of symptoms and health outcomes, the FDA has approved coronavirus vaccines under the Emergency Use Authorization. Access to the vaccine continues to increase and varies by location.
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How Can I Prevent Coronavirus Infection at Home?
Follow the below-mentioned recommended measures to prevent the spread of the virus:
- Regularly wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and face
- Avoid going to public places or meeting people who may be infected
- When going outside the house, wear a mask or shield that covers the nose and mouth
- Regularly sanitize high-touch items such as mobile devices, doorknobs, light switches, etc.
The CDC has additional information on COVID-19 prevention. Click here for more details.
How To Prevent Coronavirus At Work?
Managing coronavirus outbreak at work is one of those many challenges that the virus has posed since the beginning of this year. The coronavirus disease has affected every industry, including essential ones such as food, manufacturing, transportation, oil & gas, etc. The virus has affected people of all ages and older people, and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. At the beginning of the pandemic, most businesses country-wide closed their doors, considering employee health and safety.
However, many essential companies had to stay open to keep the business running as usual. The best way to avoid a coronavirus outbreak at work is by:
- Maintaining workplace hygiene with frequent cleaning and sanitizing the heavy traffic areas
- Promoting social distancing and the importance of wearing a mask
- Educating employees on workplace and workforce safety measures amid a pandemic
- Offering flexible work hours and shift rotation schedules to avoid all workers coming to the office at the same time
What Coronavirus Products/Services Axiom Offers?
Axiom Medical’s CheckIn2Work delivers quick and easy, self-service attestation for employers needing to pre-screen team members for potentially infectious or contagious conditions before allowing access to work. It’s a first of its kind technology, providing a point of entry protection.
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Axiom Medical has introduced the CRIA (Contagious Respiratory Illness Assessment) service to assist companies in quickly managing employees exhibiting symptoms or have been potentially exposed to COVID-19.
CheckIn2School, a similar screening app as CheckIn2Work, delivers a quick and easy daily attestation for school administrators needing to pre-screen students for potentially infectious or contagious conditions before arriving at school each day.