SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. - Federal health officials announced on Jan. 31 that a team of 15 medical providers and support staff from the National Disaster Medical System will temporarily help Canyon Vista Medical Center in Sierra Vista battle a COVID-19 surge.
Personnel includes physicians, advanced health care professionals, nurses, a respiratory therapist and a paramedic who will serve for up to 14 days per deployment.
Health and Human Services officials said the medical teams are a lifeline to hospitals, providing temporary relief to staff, adding bed capacity, decreasing wait times, and improving outcomes for COVID-19 patients.
Since the start of the pandemic, federal health officials have conducted nearly 1,750 support missions and deployed more than 10,000 medical, logistical, and command and control personnel to help 36 states, territories and jurisdictions deal with the virus.
In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Monitor your health daily
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Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.
And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.
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