With more COVID-19 cases, take common sense precautions

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With the number of worldwide cases of COVID-19 on the rise, concerns about this new coronavirus are making many people anxious. Despite the severity of the current situation, Dr. Joseph Sirven, a Mayo Clinic neurologist, says you shouldn't panic.

"If you have a fever or cold that is somewhat new, especially if you have recently traveled, it is probably a good time to let your primary care provider know because they may want to test you if they feel you traveled to a high risk area," says Dr. Sirven, "Take extra precautions to minimize exposure but don't panic."

Dr. Sirven recommends practicing good respiratory etiquette, as well as being more vigilant about hand hygiene, and sanitizing surfaces around your home and workspace.

It is also important to implement social distancing to help slow down the spread of infection. That means avoiding large gatherings and crowds.

As far as staying on top of the , Dr. Sirven says limit your sources to reputable sites, such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and Mayo Clinic.

And if you're a person who gets overwhelmed easily, change the channel.

"It's a great time to catch up on Netflix or other programs that will divert your attention," says Dr. Sirven. In any situation, whether it is COVID-19 or the flu, you separate yourself from the family so you don't get the rest of the family sick. The most important thing, he says, is "to stay calm and use common sense."


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