In light of the continued spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our FOP experts in the United States – Drs. Robert Pignolo, Fred Kaplan, Mona Al Mukaddam and Ed Hsiao – have issued an update from their initial message on March 6.
- Avoid gatherings of more than 20 people
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe, including iPad, phone, laptop, television remote, etc
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Although hand sanitizer is flying off the shelves, bars of soap do not seem to be, and washing with soap and water is effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoid shaking hands, hugging, etc
- Avoid high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, handles, handrails, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or fingers if you must touch something.
- Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Stay home as much as possible
- Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
You can follow the latest news on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website or the World Health Organization (WHO) to keep yourself and your family healthy.
It is also advised that you take steps now to prepare for possible infection:
- Contact your health care provider to ask about getting an extra supply of your regular prescription medicines to have on hand if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in the community and you need to stay home for a long period of time
- Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and supplies (tissues, etc) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
- Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time