Navajo Nation president: Some relaxing guard against COVID-19

Staff in a Navajo Nation hospital

The Navajo Nation on July 31 reported 25 additional COVID-19 cases as officials said some tribal members are foregoing needed precautions to ward off the spread of the coronavirus.

"A lot of the new cases we are seeing on the Navajo Nation are due to family and social gatherings where people let their guard down and don’t wear masks," tribal President Jonathan Nez said in a statement.

Nez noted that the virus’ highly contagious delta variant is spreading quickly in many states and said people visiting other households should wear masks and encourage others to do so.

The three additional deaths reported Saturday increased the pandemic’s toll to 1,377.

The Navajo Nation’s sprawling reservation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

MORE: Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

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


 

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.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

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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