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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Protocols and prevention of the Coronavirus on and off campus

From lice to the common cold, outbreaks come to no surprise for students attending classes day in and day out. Students are advised to wash hands before eating, after coughing or blowing their nose, and after using the restroom. Typically, cases resolve pretty quickly with proper treatment and preparing for the next outbreak to occur. 

Recently, many members of the UMass Boston community have become aware of the rapidly evolving novel coronavirus, a respiratory virus that causes difficulty breathing, fever, cough and other flu-like symptoms. In severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia as well as kidney failure. It is important to remember that the likelihood of acquiring this disease is relatively low, and that prevention for this disease is possible. Prevention methods both outside of the community and on campus include the following: 

Washing hands:

Washing your hands often with soap and hot water before and after eating, after using the restroom, after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, and after touching shared surfaces is key to prevention of any illness, especially the novel coronavirus. Remember, washing your hands with just water will not help to kill germs, so using both soap and hot water will help to destroy disease carrying germs found all around you. It is important to wash your hands after every action to try and kill the live germs, as well as to prevent the spread of the virus across a variety of surfaces.  

Use an alcohol-based sanitizer: 

While situations may occur where you do not have access to a sink nearby, it is important to carry around a small alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use after contact with any surface that may carry harmful germs. If you do not have a small hand sanitizer, most classrooms on campus or dining areas come equipped with a hand sanitizer dispenser accessible to all students.  

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth: 

After touching surfaces, it is best to avoid contact with your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent transferring the germs from surface to host. By avoiding contact with your eyes, nose and mouth, it also prevents the chance of infection.  

Avoid contact with sick people, and stay home if you feel sick:

One of the most important ways to prevent disease and viruses such as the novel coronavirus is to avoid contact with those who are sick. By doing so, you lower your risk of contracting the virus by avoiding coming into contact with anyone who may be carrying the symptoms. If you feel sick or have cold or flu like symptoms, it is recommended to stay home and rest to avoid spreading any illness you may carry.   

One major concern about the novel coronavirus is the effects it has on the respiratory system. More specifically, many members of the community fear the effects on an individual with a weakened immune system or respiratory disease. After speaking with a student on campus who suffers from laryngeal sarcoidosis, patients suffering from weak immune systems are advised to call their rheumatologist or primary care provider immediately following any symptoms that mimic the flu or severe cold. These people are also advised to wear masks in public, more specifically on campus and in classrooms, to prevent the chance of getting sick. Like everyone else in the community, it is very important for people with respiratory diseases and weak immune systems to wash their hands frequently. Prevention for people with or without a weakened immune system or respiratory disease should be using the same prevention methods to avoid getting sick.