Surfaces and Covid-19: A Public Health Perspective

With the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic currently affecting more than 3 million people around the world, one focus is on the disease and transmission possibilities. The questions often arise regarding how it can be spread. Can Coronavirus live on clothes? How long can it live on clothes, shoes, or other fabrics? Also, how long can it live on surfaces? For example, how long can COVID 19 on cardboard really survive? The idea that Coronavirus might be able to live on surfaces and clothing adds to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation.

It is natural to be nervous about the likelihood of catching the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, but an understanding of the facts can help to alleviate fears and confusion. Understanding can lead to more careful adherence to the recommended best practices for cleanliness, disinfecting, and other social practices. It starts to make sense why the CDC is making the medically valid recommendations that they are, based on research and the very latest findings by doctors and facilities both in the US and around the world. It becomes clear that the CDC guidelines should help to turn the tide and flatten the curve, leading to lower incidents of Coronavirus spread and contamination.

The most common way to transmit the Coronavirus is via close person-to-person interaction or contact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). That is why social distancing, keeping at a distance of at least 6 feet in all directions, is recommended and encouraged at this time. While social distancing is the most common safety direction, there are still so many questions around the viability and possible concern around Coronavirus on clothes and surfaces. For all those questions around Coronavirus and how it survives on surfaces, here is a quick primer or overview with all the facts about COVID-19. It’s still important to contact a doctor or medical professional if there are questions about personal health, surface contamination, or other matters of wellness.

How long can Coronavirus live on clothes?

The primary focus of discussion around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus is on transmission by close contact, but clothes and other materials can hold and retain respiratory drops as well. Simply put, a person could get COVID-19 by touching a piece of fabric or other material. While it is possible for the virus to spread via touching clothes or fabric, the answer to the question of “how long can Coronavirus live on clothes” is more ambiguous. Some doctors and researchers claim that Coronavirus can live on fabric, but the consensus is that clothing and other fabric is a porous material, with a less hospitable environment for long-term viability. Even with the low probability of the spread of Coronavirus related to clothing or other fabrics, it never hurts to take extra precautions to clean, disinfect, and keep all clothing or other materials as clean as possible.

It is possible to compare cloth to cardboard and say that research has indicated 24-hour viability. Even those estimates are predicated by what virologists like Rachel Graham say about the testing conditions of the samples. The viability of COVID 19 on shoes or other fabric could be 24 hours in a perfect testing situation, but it is likely that Coronavirus would not last that long as a viable sample. It is still important to take Coronavirus exposure seriously, particularly when visiting a store, when hundreds of people may have been over the last 24 hours. Beyond the recommendations for maintaining the social distancing guidelines of 6 feet, refraining from touching one’s face, covering coughs and sneezes, frequently washing hands, some doctors and experts recommend changing clothes upon returning home after exposure to a significant number of individuals in a store or other potentially well-visited space. By taking special precautions, even in what has been called a low-risk situation, it may be possible to further protect and prevent the spread and contamination of Coronavirus.

What About Coronavirus on Shoes?

As an extension of clothes, some individuals are concerned about COVID 19 on shoes. In addition to clothes, the questions are about whether shoes or boots can track Coronavirus into a home or other dwelling. While the CDC offers guidelines and even an FAQ, there are currently no known cases of an individual contracting Coronavirus via their shoes, or via another person tracking or bringing the virus into the home. This is particularly important to note since healthcare individuals and other high-risk employees are frequently exposed to all manner of contamination in their day-to-day work. Other individuals regularly frequent areas where it is likely persons with Coronavirus might frequent, which could lead to contracting or carrying contamination on one’s clothing or shoes.

If there is ever any concern or worry about the possibility of contamination and exposing a family or other individual to Coronavirus, it is best to take additional precautions above and beyond the medical research and findings. For example, some experts have recommended removing shoes at the door or entryway and putting clothing in the wash. Even though clothing, shoes, and other items are considered low risk, there could be a reason to be particularly careful, based on personal health or familial wellness considerations. For some high-risk jobs, individuals may self-quarantine in a different location or housing situation between shifts and for prolonged periods of time to provide the best possible protection to family and other potentially at-risk individuals.

Even with a low-risk situation, take precautions. If a person who appears to be sick has coughed or sneezed directly on one’s clothes or shoes, it is important to wash the clothing or leave them in an isolated area to ensure that no further contamination occurs. The biggest and most common reason for taking extra-special care is when there is an immunocompromised, young, or elderly person in the home. Every possible precaution must be observed to protect and keep those potentially high-risk individuals safe. No precaution is too much when spread could mean severe consequences and health-related hazards.

Why is it important to understand how long the Coronavirus lives on surfaces?

It is not just that COVI-19 or that a lot of people have gotten sick. There have been many unknowns about the spread of the disease and how it is possible to contract it. Scientists, researchers, and doctors have been working to answer the most pressing questions regarding Coronavirus. So, part of the scare is misinformation, and part of the concern is that it is a dangerous pandemic virus that has taken the world by storm. So, it is important to understand why and how Coronavirus works, how long it lives on surfaces, and then what can be done to keep everyone safe and healthy. While doctors and researchers explore treatment options, it is essential to understand that everyday activities and actions can either help to prevent the spread, or they can help to exacerbate the spread.

While there is no one treatment that has been proven to be effective for Coronavirus, doctors continue to treat the symptoms and caution those who have not contracted the virus to practice all the recommended social distancing practices and safety protocols to effectively avoid getting sick. There has been some discussion about the possibility that the warmer months may slow the spread of the disease, which could alleviate fears more than anything. A recent report from National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) appears to suggest that those early hopes are unfounded. Or, at least, there is no evidence thus far to suggest that the seasonal change has not made a substantial impact on the viral spread thus far. It is still early, though. So far, it is difficult to determine what the progression or scope of research and study findings will entail.

How long can Coronavirus live on surfaces?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released a range of research findings related to the viability of COVID 19 on surfaces. The CDC evidence shows that Coronavirus can live on surfaces for hours-to-days. In perfect, hermetically sealed scenarios, the testing has indicated that COVID 19 on cardboard could last for up to 24 hours. COVID 19 on paper could last for up to 24 hours as well. On these surfaces, it is difficult to clean and disinfect without damaging the item. It is still possible to spray the item with disinfectant. In many cases, recommendations for handling possibly contaminated boxes (for example, packages or other shipment materials) that may have Coronavirus on the surface, the recommendations include leaving it outside or in a separate area to wait out the 24-hour period of possible infectious viability.

To further protect against all possibilities of infection from surfaces, the CDC highlights their best recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting, via disinfectants approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA cautions to use the products as directed, with the appropriate contact time. They note that the substances are indicated for use on surfaces and should not be used on humans. The CDC offers a range of resources and further details about surface contamination, including precautions for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, with special consideration for the special instructions required for electronics or other delicate surfaces. Just because it may be a delicate or not-easily-cleaned surface does not mean that some (more gentle) form of cleaning or disinfecting cannot take place. It may take more forethought and planning. It may be prudent and advisable to avoid using those surfaces, objects, or products that are the most difficult to clean and disinfect, if possible. Sometimes it’s just easier to avoid using those items that are most difficult to clean and disinfect instead of worrying about damaging them.

How long can Coronavirus last on surfaces?

The question of “How long can Coronavirus last on surfaces?” is a matter of understanding what the surface consists of, but following best practices for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in a way that would help mitigate the danger of spread and contamination. The viability of COVID 19 on surfaces can vary depending on the substance. COVID 19 on cardboard can be viable for up to 24 hours and COVID 19 on paper could have a similar survival rate. These levels of contamination can be particularly concerning for workers and students since those are the materials that are most frequently used in an office or educational environment.

When you consider “how long can COVID-19 live on surfaces,” though, it is important to note that the Coronavirus virus may be viable on glass surfaces for up to 5 days. Coronavirus may last on a wood surface for up to 4 days, while it may be found on a plastic or stainless-steel surface for 3 days. Of all the materials currently tested for viability with the COVID-19 virus, copper surfaces appear to offer the least hospitable conditions for Coronavirus. The virus only lasts ~4 hours on a copper surface. While COVID 19 on cardboard could have a lifespan of up to 24 hours, the amount of live virus will decrease the longer it is on a surface. It still may be advisable to avoid touching surfaces. Or if touch is unavoidable, avoid touching the face or mouth. Wash hands as soon and as often as possible.

What does COVID 19 surface contamination mean?

COVID-19 surface contamination refers to the fact that the counters, objects, or items may represent a tactile danger. At any time, surfaces are associated with microbial contaminants, which consist of unwanted and potentially dangerous organisms (bacteria, spores, or cultures). It is not something that much of a worry on a day-to-day basis. The most aware individuals of this kind of surface contamination are those who are immunocompromised or in otherwise particularly susceptible to contaminants or unwanted material.

The other group of concerned individuals is likely those persons who are germophobic. In other words, they are already super-concerned and aware that germs are present on all surfaces, and they are hypervigilant. With the clear and present danger, everyone should try to be a little more germophobic right now. Situational awareness and a keen willingness to follow all the CDC guidelines and best practices should make a difference.

The testing and continued research into the Coronavirus pandemic both in the US and around the world have inspired a greater vigilance in health and wellness, as well as disinfectant measures. Given the fact that the COVID-19 virus has been found to be stable for days on surfaces, there is a reason for concern and special care. Everyone must take care to follow the recommended medical, health, and social guidelines developed by the CDC and other agencies. While the recommendations can add layers of complexity to social interactions, the focus is to make sure that friends, loved ones, and even acquaintances are safe, happy, and healthy.

How to avoid Coronavirus on surfaces or clothing

The best way to avoid COVID 19 on surfaces is to clean and disinfect, based on all the CDC guidelines. Those recommendations include wearing protective/disposable gloves, cleaning with soap and water, and being sure to vigorously clean all surfaces that are frequently used. Those surfaces include everything from countertops, tables, desks, light switches, sinks, faucets, keyboards, phones, etc. While there are many options for the products recommended or allowable as options for disinfectants, the solution for cleaning can be a form of diluted bleach solution, provided that special care and precautions are taken in keeping with handling considerations. Depending on what is most appropriate for the surface compatibility, it is possible to use a solution made up of at least 70% alcohol to clean and disinfect surfaces, particularly in situations where bleach-or-other disinfectant solutions are counter indicative.

For other, more porous of delicate surfaces, it might be better to use a soap-and-water solution for cleaning. For other contamination concerns on clothing, other fabrics, or materials, it is typically easiest to use a washer with appropriately warm water to disinfect materials. The CDC recommends taking special precautions when washing the clothes of a person who is sick or could be sick. Those safety considerations include waring gloves, refraining from shaking the clothes, and disinfecting the laundry basket. Then, even as all other precautions are followed with delicate surfaces and clothes, it is still important to wash hands, avoid touching one’s face, and use hand sanitizer as needed. While not all situations will be the same, and special considerations should be followed in case of need, the same basic tenets of cleaning and disinfecting remains consistent.

Other surfaces can be wiped down, or sprayed down, as appropriate. As much as possible, if a person shows signs of Coronavirus illness, that person should clean up after himself/herself including wiping down personal space, the bathroom after use, etc. To avoid surface contamination, the CDC recommends that sick individuals keep to their room if possible. In some ways, this separation is an extension of social distancing, although it tends to be a bit more complicated to keep a distance within the confines of a home. Pursuing the best, recommended practices for Coronavirus prevention is not always easy. With care and consideration, do whatever is possible to prevent and mitigate surface contamination and COVID-19 spread. While Coronavirus does not (and will not) affect everyone, it may just make a difference in ways that are never fully known.


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Are Free Online Public Health Courses Worth It?

Given that the world is facing one of the worst global health crises we have ever seen, people are finding ways to learn about public health in order to not only protect themselves and their loved ones but also to help them further their career. Fortunately, taking free online public health training is an excellent method of achieving these things and much more. Indeed, if you are questioning are free online courses worth it, on the whole, they typically are. However, if you find yourself wondering if the concept of a free online course is too good to be true, the following is a list of the benefits of free online courses.

What Can I Get Out of a Free Online Public Health Course?

If you are interested in enrolling in free online public health training, you will gain access to the following benefits:

Continuing Education: Given the present COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are searching for employees who are already trained in public health. However, if you are not yet trained in public health, it is not too late to learn. Especially if you are working from home or have been laid off, this is a great time to take free online training courses in public health to not only educate yourself but to help you become an invaluable employee moving forward. No matter which sector you work in, becoming certified in public health will make you a well-respected candidate in the job market.

Keeping Updated: As we have seen with this global pandemic, things change from day to day and sometimes, moment to moment. Therefore, staying updated on new developments will not only help you to maintain gainful employment but it will also help you to keep yourself and those around you as safe as possible.

Extra Training: Even if you have already taken a public health course in the past, now would be a great time to update your training. As mentioned, many things within the public health sector have changed in just a few short months. This means there is much to be learned by those who already possess certificates in public health.

Free Certifications: Perhaps the best benefit of taking free public health training courses is that they are free. Certifications can help upgrade your resume and make you a prospect for higher-paying jobs. For this reason, many are willing to pay for these courses. However, by enrolling in free online public health training, you can get all these benefits free of charge.

Greater Career Options: By taking free online courses on public health you will become eligible for more job opportunities as well as better paying careers. Some potential jobs in the public health sector are microbiologists, research analysts, data coding operators, health officers, community health workers, epidemiologists, health policy advisors, disease investigators, and many others. Moreover, you will also gain the ability to work in the local, state, and national government, nonprofit organizations, insurance companies, colleges and universities, faith-based organizations, and more.

Learning Specialized Skills: One great reason to take free online public health courses with certificates is that you will be learning new specialized skills. Having specialized skills and certifications makes you a more attractive candidate and can also make it possible for you to leverage your knowledge to help you earn more money.

Can a Free Online Public Health Course Help My Career?

If you are wondering can a free online public health course can help your career, in general, the answer is yes. However, if you are taking a course that offers a legitimate certification, this will make you a much more viable candidate overall. This is because free online certificate courses in public health show employers that you are taking public health seriously enough to take the time to earn a certificate in the subject.

These certificates show potential employers that you are interested in helping people stay safe and are dedicated to helping to end this global pandemic. Employers prefer those who are certified because this means that they have learned knowledge that is in compliance with government agencies like the CDC and organizations such as the WHO. This makes you appear to be much more knowledgeable and trustworthy overall. However, in some cases, even if you are not certified, you may still be able to gain employment based on possessing knowledge in relation to the public health sector in general. At this time, many employers are simply seeking candidates who are knowledgeable on viruses, such as coronavirus, as this can help keep a company and employees safer during these uncertain times.

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Top 25 Free Online Public Health Courses to Take During a Pandemic

For those interested in taking a free online course on public health, you’re in good company. Given that the world is presently battling with the COVID-19, plenty of people want to learn more about public health to keep themselves safe as well as those around them. There’s no shortage of misinformation, disinformation, and plain old hooey, but public health professionals, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and others who need real facts have many free options available to them.

Here are 25 free public health courses from legitimate institutions, including some of the world’s finest, all related to pandemics, Covid-19, and epidemiology. Note: This is not a ranking; courses are presented in alphabetical order by institution.

1. Health Informatics and Technology in Decision Making

DoaneX — Doane University

Doane University’s free online course in public health, Health Informatics and Technology in Decision Making. In today’s ever changing times, security of patient records is more important than ever. Doane University’s course on informatics and technology teaches healthcare professionals how to use and store data in a way that keeps patients safe. Students will study health informatics and learn how the concept as a whole is being used to affect patient care around the world.

Doane University has repeatedly been recognized as the top learning institution in Nebraska. This private school consists of three colleges and prides itself on providing a large university education within a small school. The average class size at Doane is 11 students, making it easy for professors and their classes to get to know each other on a personal level. Doane University is known for it’s stellar continuing education programs that allow adults to learn in a way that makes sense for them.

2. U.S. Healthcare Systems

DoaneX — Doane University

U.S. Healthcare Systems is one of several free online courses on public health offered at Doane University. The structure of the United States healthcare system is a hot topic around the world today. This course delves into the concepts behind American healthcare, what’s working, and what isn’t. By the end of this course, students will be able to critique healthcare in the United States and make recommendations for positive change that improve patient outcomes.

Doane University encourages it’s students to study abroad, and recognizes that comparing systems in the United States to those around the world can be a valuable way to improve systems at home. Doane offers students who register as freshmen a $1,000 scholarship to use during study abroad experiences during their junior and senior years. While DoaneX offers many free courses, a completion certificate can be added for a small fee. This certificate can be a valuable addition to any healthcare resume.

3. Mechanical Ventilation for COVID-19

HarvardX — Harvard University

Mechanical Ventilation for COVID-19, a free online public health course from Harvard, this course is made for licensed non-ICU medical professionals who find themselves needing to understand ventilation fast in the wake of COVID-19. This course teaches the principles of mechanical ventilation, how to troubleshoot ventilation, how to monitor a patient who has been placed on a ventilator, how to evaluate when it’s time for a patient to come off of a ventilator, and how to remove the ventilator properly. These skills are in high demand, and this course is perfect for busy medical professionals to learn what they need to know to keep patients safe. The course also teaches about the special needs of COVID-19 patients on ventilators, and how those needs are different from standard ventilator patients.

The financial aid office at Harvard works hard to ensure that students who are accepted are able to afford their education. The school’s generous scholarship and grant program makes an Ivy League education possible for many students who would otherwise struggle to afford college. Harvard was established in 1636, making the school the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

4. Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs

HarvardX — Harvard University

Harvard offers several free online courses on public health, including Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs. This program teaches students how to advocate for the importance of community health worker programs. These programs have been shown to save lives when properly implemented, and it’s vital that healthcare professionals are able to explain the importance of community health worker programs to others. This program teaches professionals how to design effective community health worker programs that allow entire communities to be positively affected by access to healthcare.

Students at Harvard get to enjoy the largest private library system in the world. Harvard’s dedication to research and providing students with the highest level of resources possible is clear the moment a student walks into the library. In addition to providing over 17 million volumes of resources in the library, Harvard’s professors are constantly available to work with students to help them develop their passions. Students who graduate from Harvard get the benefit of becoming a part of a vast alumni network, with more than 360,000 alumni around the world.

5. PredictionX: John Snow and the Cholera Epidemic of 1854

HarvardX — Harvard University

PredictionX: John Snow and the Cholera Epidemic of 1854 is a free online course in public health from Harvard University. PredictionX is a series of classes that analyzes attempts throughout history to predict the future. In 1854, cholera swept through London’s Soho neighborhood, killing more than 600 people. The disease seemed unstoppable, and many were unsure of how it would end. Dr. John Snow set out to prove that he understood how cholera had spread. His predictions and data forever changed our understanding of how disease moves from one person to another.

While Harvard is known for it’s commitment to stellar academics, the school also encourages students to take a broad worldview and participate in activities that push them outside of the classroom. The school boasts 450 extracurricular student organizations and 42 varsity sports, making it easy for students at the school to find their place both within and outside of their studies. Based in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard attracts top of the line faculty from around the world, providing students with an unmatched educational experience.

6. Foundations of Public Health Practice Specialization

Imperial College London

Imperial College London offers a free online public health course entitled Foundations of Public Health Practice Specialization. This course is designed for anyone who plays a role in public health, including managers, directors, politicians, practitioners, and more. This course teaches students why public health matters, and how to advocate for better public health programs around the world. When students finish the course, they’re armed with the information they need to make a difference in the world of public health.

At Imperial College London, the school works hard to make a great education accessible to students around the world. In addition to providing many free courses for students, the school also offers a President’s PhD Scholarship Scheme, a program which supports up to 50 students around the world. Selected students get to earn their PhD for free at Imperial College London. Imperial College London alumni enjoy connecting with a vast network of fellow graduates – over 190,000 alumni around the world.

7. Global Disease Masterclass Specialization

Imperial College London

Global Disease Masterclass Specialization is a free online course in public health offered at Imperial College London. In this class, students will learn about how global diseases develop, and the implications of these diseases on the world as a whole. Students will also discuss different ways that statistics and measurements can be taken for these diseases, and how those choices can impact the way the disease is viewed.

In today’s uncertain times, Imperial College London is working hard to stay at the forefront of COVID-19 research. The school’s esteemed faculty were recently a part of a large scale study that identified the points at which COVID-19 is able to enter the body. While the commonly known receptors of the eyes and nose were proven, research also showed COVID-19 receptors in the heart and intestines. Imperial College London is the only higher learning institute in the UK to focus exclusively on medicine, business, science, and engineering.

8. Science Matters: Let’s Talk About COVID-19

Imperial College London

Science Matters: Let’s Talk About COVID-19 is one of several free online courses on public health offered at Imperial College London. With all the news about COVID-19, it can be hard to track what’s real and what isn’t. This course teaches students how to decipher the news, how to choose what information to listen to, and how to read between the lines of statistics to get a get a solid picture of what’s actually going on with the disease. Students will learn how data is used to develop response at local and national levels.

At the forefront of medical research, Imperial College London is currently testing a COVID-19 vaccine. The testing will determine if healthy people are able to develop a resistance to the coronavirus after being vaccinated with a weakened form of the virus. This history making research could eventually put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Imperial College London is dedicated to changing the face of education. Committed to improving education around the world, the school offers free resources for teachers and educators.

9. Foundations of Public Health Practice: The Public Health Approach

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is currently offering a free online course in public health: Foundations of Public Health Practice: The Public Health Approach is designed for students who are interested in learning more about the world of public health. The class teaches students through short videos, practitioner interviews, and more. This course is helpful for students who want to understand how the overall health of a population can be positively affected by public health initiatives.

Faculty at Imperial College are working diligently to stay at the forefront of research in today’s ever changing medical world. Chris Toumazou, professor of engineering at Imperial, is working with other healthcare professionals to develop a rapid COVID-19 test that can provide doctors with patient results in just one hour. #HerImperial is a movement designed by Imperial College London to encourage and support women who are taking leading roles in the science, medicine, engineering, and business fields.

10. Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out

Johns Hopkins University

Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out is a free online course on public health offered by Johns Hopkins University. The course attacks many basic questions that people are curious about, such as how we measure who has been infected, and how we use this information to protect ourselves going forward.

Johns Hopkins University is known for encouraging students to pursue their passions. Over 60% of students at the university pursue double majors or minors, allowing them to fully explore their areas of academic interest. With a faculty to student ratio of 7:1, Johns Hopkins allows students to get the attention they need to succeed. Johns Hopkins is currently ranked as the #10 university in the United States.

11. Foundations of Global Health Specialization

Johns Hopkins University

Foundations of Global Health Specialization is one of several free online courses on public health offered at Johns Hopkins University. This class is for students who want to learn more about how health is approached in other countries, and to study the changes that need to be made to positively affect the health of people around the globe.

Johns Hopkins is known as the first research university in the United States. In most schools, undergraduate students do not take part in research, but that’s not the case at Johns Hopkins. Many undergraduate students work with graduate students and faculty on research projects, and this experience can go a long way in setting them apart from others after graduation. Students are highly satisfied with their education at Johns Hopkins University – polls show that 97% of students would recommend the school to a friend.

12. Epidemiology in Public Health Practice Specialization

Johns Hopkins University

One of the many free online courses on public health offered by Johns Hopkins University, Epidemiology in Public Health Practice Specialization, is made for students who work or want to work in the healthcare field. This course explores the spread of disease, and how humans can contribute to or stop the spread.

While Johns Hopkins is primarily known for it’s world class research hospital and incredibly competitive admissions process, student life is also a top ranking hallmark of this Baltimore area gem. Students can participate in many opportunities for fun and socializing on campus, or venture into downtown Baltimore to see all that the city has to offer. From shopping areas to the Baltimore inner harbor, many students fall in love with Baltimore during their time at Hopkins and choose to make the city their forever home after graduation. Johns Hopkins is known for being incredibly selective, and accepts just 11% of applicants each year.

13. Systems Thinking In Public Health

Johns Hopkins University

Systems Thinking In Public Health is a free online course on public health from Johns Hopkins University. In today’s uncertain world, people are rethinking current systems more than ever. This class provides a deep dive into how systems have been formed, and how they need to be changed in order to meet the needs of today’s changing world.

Students who graduate from Johns Hopkins University with their undergraduate degree make a starting salary of $66,000 per year, which is quite high compared with the national average of $51,000 per year. There are several factors that go into higher starting salary offers for Hopkins graduates, including university prestige, internship experience, and work experience. 74% of classes at Johns Hopkins have fewer than 20 students, making the school a great fit for students who thrive in a small class environment.

14. Biostatistics in Public Health Specialization

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is currently offering several free courses on public health, including Biostatistics in Public Health Specialization. This class teaches students how to interpret statistics in a way that makes them useful for informing public health decisions. This entry level class is perfect both for students who have studied statistics and those who have not, and will provide a basic understanding of how to decide if a statistic is significant enough to inform public health decisions.

While Johns Hopkins focuses heavily on it’s undergraduate and graduate students, they also have programs for high school students who are interested in furthering their education. Each summer, Johns Hopkins offers pre-college classes for students who want to expand their learning and give themselves a competitive edge in the college application process. Going the extra mile over the summer can go a long way for students who are working to wow admissions officers. 88% of undergraduate students at Johns Hopkins graduate within four years, a testament to the school’s commitment to student support.

15. Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1

Johns Hopkins University

Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1 is a free online public health course from Johns Hopkins University. This class doesn’t just cover the COVID-19 crisis – it covers other public crises as well, such as natural disasters, and studies how organizations respond to trying times. This class covers many topics, such as infectious disease, maternal and infant health, mental health, and humanitarian project design.

As one of the premier health research institutions in the world, faculty at Johns Hopkins have come together to take an interdisciplinary approach to attacking COVID-19. Scientists across all disciplines are working hard to study the spread of the disease and find an effective vaccine. Johns Hopkins works to make tuition affordable to all students, and meets 100% of need based tuition assistance with scholarships, grants, and loans.

16. Protecting Public Health in a Changing Climate: A Primer for City, Local, and Regional Action

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is currently offering a free online course in public health entitled Protecting Public Health in a Changing Climate: A Primer for City, Local, and Regional Action. While the global focus is currently on COVID-19, climate change has been at the forefront of many lawmakers and activists for years. This course studies the basics of climate change, and discusses the changes that need to be made on each level of government in order to make an effective difference.

In order to support COVID-19 research efforts, Johns Hopkins has redirected over $6 million in research funding to go toward studying the spread of the disease and finding a cure. While the school is studying long term effects of the disease, their primary focus is to study how the can slow and eventually stop the spread of the coronavirus. Students at Johns Hopkins give their classes and teachers an average 5 out of 5 rating.

17. Epidemics – the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

Penn State

Epidemics – the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases is a free online public health course offered by Penn State University. This course teaches students how our understanding of infectious disease has changed over time, and how developments in medicine have made it less and less likely that people will die of an infectious disease. This course looks at how disease spreads, and how disease can easily pass through networks of friends.

Total research expenditures at Penn State have been over $968 million each of the past four years. The school fosters an environment of collaboration with other universities, and works to ensure that students have access to the best research facilities in the world. This dedication to research attracts world class faculty, and allows students to learn from the best of the best. Penn State alumni never have to look far to find a fellow graduate – one out of every 100 college graduates in the United States went to PSU.

18. Stories of Infection

Stanford University

Stories of Infection is a free online course in public health offered by Stanford University. Students will work to solve authentic healthcare problems throughout the course with the guidance of their instructor.

While Stanford researchers work hard to contribute to the development of a coronavirus vaccine, they’re also working hard to understand the social implications of the virus. Psychology and social science researchers are studying why fake news about the virus is so appealing, and why it can be so tough to get the correct information to the public. Dubbed the Nobel Prize for computers, Stanford has received more Turing awards than any other university.

19. Writing in the Sciences

Stanford University

One of several free online courses on public health, Writing in the Sciences is currently being offered by Stanford University. Many scientists struggle to write in a way that makes their thoughts and ideas accessible to others. This course is perfect for scientists who want their writing to be more easily understood by others. This class takes scientists through how to write quickly, and how to ease their own anxiety about writing.

Stanford biologists are known for their innovation and creativity, and those qualities are shining through in the age of the coronavirus. The school is already working on social change models for what the new normal will be after the coronavirus begins to calm. These models are essential in predicting how to return to life as a functioning society. While Stanford takes academics seriously, they take sports seriously too – Stanford students won 16 medals at the 2012 Olympics, 12 of them gold.

20. Urban Water – Innovations for Environmental Sustainability

The University of British Columbia

Urban Water – Innovations for Environmental Sustainability is a free online course on public health currently being offered by The University of British Columbia. This course explores the global water crisis, and discusses how the water crisis relates to the spread of disease around the world.

Consistently ranked as one of the top 20 research institutions in the world, The University of British Columbia is dedicated to providing it’s students with the tools they need for success. The school is not only working hard to contribute to the development of the coronavirus vaccine – they’re also studying the psychology of how to effectively encourage people to participate in stay at home efforts worldwide. The University of British Columbia consistently ranks as one of the top three universities in Canada.

21. An Introduction to Global Health

University of Copenhagen

An Introduction to Global Health is a free online public health course offered by University of Copenhagen. This class is perfect for people who are just beginning to learn about how disease can spread, and the effect that disease can have on the world’s population as a whole.

University of Copenhagen is known for their excellence in research, and is currently working on artificial intelligence research that can predict a COVID-19 patient’s risk of needing a ventilator, helping healthcare institutions predict their need for ventilators ahead of time. Founded in 1479, University of Copenhagen is the oldest school in Denmark.

22. Disease Screening in Public Health

University of Geneva

Disease Screening in Public Health is a free online course in public health currently offered by University of Geneva. This course teaches students the basics of disease screening, as well as tactics to stop the spread of disease.

One of the top research institutions in Europe, University of Geneva is known for it’s commitment to teaching and community service. The school works to instill the importance of giving back into it’s students. Founded in 1559, University of Geneva has nearly half a millennia of a reputation of academic excellence.

23. Foundational Skills for Communicating About Health

University of Michigan

University of Michigan is currently offering a free online public health course entitled Foundational Skills for Communicating About Health. While students who study medicine are given a wide breadth of technical and scientific knowledge, few are taught how to effectively communicate with others. This course teaches medical professionals how to explain complicated medical concepts in a way that most people can understand, improving communication with others and patient outcomes.

Students who graduate from University of Michigan are set up for long term success, both due to their academic accomplishments and their ability to access a robust alumni network. The school is known for being a leader in both research and philanthropy, and the school works hard to instill these values in students. With a history of dedication to research, University of Michigan was the first school to develop it’s own chemistry lab in 1856.

24. Epidemics, Pandemics and Outbreaks

University of Pittsburgh

Epidemics, Pandemics and Outbreaks is a free online course in public health offered by University of Pittsburgh. This course studies what needs to be done by the healthcare community in order to stop infectious diseases from reaching the epidemic or pandemic stage. University of Pittsburgh has a long-standing history of victory against disease – a Pitt alum discovered the vaccine for polio.

University of Pittsburgh is dedicated to helping students get their education, regardless of financial circumstance. Over half of the undergraduate students at Pitt receive some type of financial aid package.

25. Essentials of Global Health

Yale University

Essentials of Global Health is a free online public health course offered by Yale University. This entry level course is perfect for students who are considering whether a career in global health may be a good fit for them. Students will learn about the top health conditions that affect people around the world, and the current barriers to care for these conditions.

Yale is a premier research institution that is working hard to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Like many top research institutions, Yale is taking a multidisciplinary approach to research tactics and therapies that could slow or stop the spread of the virus. Established in 1701, Yale is one of the oldest universities in the United States.

Why Should I Consider Free Online Public Health Courses?

Taking a free online course on public health can provide you with the following benefits:

  • Career Options: By taking free online courses on public health you will be opening up your job prospects and gain the ability to be hired for jobs of all kinds. Some of the most common jobs for those trained in public health are research analyst, health officer, community health worker, epidemiologist, health policy advisor, disease investigator, and many others. Additionally, you can work in sectors such as the local, state, and national government, nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, insurance companies, colleges and universities, and more.
  • Continuing Education: Given that the world is in the midst of one of the most massive outbreaks we have seen in quite some time, many employers are now requiring their employees to become trained in public health in order to help educate the public and reduce the spread of this potentially deadly virus. Those who work in positions such as nutritionists, social workers, physical trainers, and psychologists are encouraged to learn more about viruses such as coronavirus, how they spread, and what is needed to keep the public safe.
  • No Cost: One of the greatest benefits of taking a free online course in public health is that it is free of charge. Not only do you receive an array of benefits by taking these courses but you will not have to pay to learn this information.
  • Heal the World: Another major benefit of taking a free online course on public health is that you can literally help heal the world. Given that the entire world is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to be finding the best ways to eradicate viruses such as these. Studying public health makes you a vital part of the efforts that have been enacted to help the entire globe get rid of this virus for good.
  • New Specialized Skills: Lastly, one great reason to take a free online public health course is that you will be learning new speciali zed skills. If nothing else, this makes you more employable and a more valued employee across the board.

What Kinds of Free Online Public Health Courses Will Help Me Understand Pandemics?

Given the present coronavirus pandemic, many people are seeking taking free online courses on public health that teach about pandemics, in particular. The following is a list of courses that will help you do just that:

Biostatistics Courses Online Free: If you are interested in learning about pandemics, taking a free biostatistics course is one of the best ways to do so. These courses teach you how to read and respond to scientific literature. In particular, these courses teach you how to better understand the methods and results sections in medicine, biological science, and other related fields. Ultimately, you will finish a free biostatistics course online prepared to be a valued member of a research team that investigates the causes of viruses to help keep humanity safe overall.

Free Epidemiology Courses Online: Another great free online course in public health that can help you understand pandemics is epidemiology. A free online epidemiology course is the branch of medical science that studies diseases of all kinds. By taking a free online epidemiology course you will learn things such as how viruses are spread, the pros and cons of vaccinations, how viruses can be eradicated, the value of mechanical ventilators, and more. Additionally, these courses also teach about how the immune system functions and how it can keep us protected, what happens to the body once it becomes infected by infectious viruses, such as COVID-19, and how science can be used to develop better medications and diagnostic testing.

Infectious Disease Free Online Course: Lastly, if you are seeking the best free online courses on public health, an infectious disease course may be your best bet. An infectious disease free online course will teach you things such as the dynamics of viruses such as COVID-19 and the flu and why we should all be doing our part to prevent the spread of these viruses. Moreover, you’ll also learn about proper medical responses, laws, and policies that have been created to help prevent the flow of these viruses and diseases, quarantine laws, drug development policies, biodefense, bioterrorism, and more. Moreover, there are cutting-edge courses that focus on taking a patient-centered approach. These courses are dedicated to keeping the patient in mind while also encouraging those who take these courses to help further research in immunology, microbiology, and infectious disease.

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30 Top Public Health Influencers for 2020

Social media has been one of the most dangerous channels for misinformation and conspiracy theories in health. Fortunately, it’s also been an important new way for public health leadership to shine. Since the turn of the millennium, leaders in public health have emerged from behind the scenes to become recognized leaders of the community and global health initiatives. Concurrently, public health leaders have worked with managers of the healthcare delivery system to embrace “population health” as the basis for protecting individual patients. Today, though, leadership in public health doesn’t just mean good management skills – it means having influence and establishing a trusted voice.

Leaders in public health must recognize the connection between behavior and health. The pace of technological advances in biomedical technologies has slowed, and despite the information technology revolution, leadership in public health has failed to react with fluidity. This can be seen in conflicting reports about the Covid-19 pandemic from White House leadership and public health leaders such as Anthony Falci, who demonstrated the importance of leadership in public health that truly puts the well-being of citizens above politics and personal interests.

Ranking the Top Public Health Influencers

For MPHOnline’s ranking of the top public health influencers, we looked to organizations and figures who have made their voices heard in social media, spreading science, policy advice, and encouragement through sources like Facebook and Twitter. Our ranking is based on number of Twitter followers. These are the handles that the most people trust in the US and around the world for knowledge and guidance.

1. World Health Organization (WHO) – @WHO

The World Health Organization is one of the primary public health influencers from around the world. The WHO is a health agency, responsible for international public health, under the United Nations. The organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with 150 field offices in other key locations around the world.

The WHO is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, with regular updates that are of the most critical interest to millions of people around the world. Their mission is to provide leadership and direction in answer to global issues, including epidemics. They create and disseminate world health policies and procedures for member countries.

Followers: 5,900,000

2. Harvard Health – @HarvardHealth

Harvard Health is a top public health influencer both in the US and around the world. Its goal is to deliver the most current health information. Drawing from 10,000+ faculty physicians at Harvard Medical School, they offer trustworthy health information.

Harvard Health is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. Harvard Health has consistently been a recognized voice in the world of health and medicine, with the staff and expertise to respond to critical issues of interest to its international audience. It is a source that’s frequently cited for its credibility and science-based veracity.

Followers: 2,400,000

3. Dr. Sanjay Gupta – @drsanjaygupta

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is one of the most prominent public health influencers. He’s a staff neurosurgeon at Emory Clinic, but his main claim-to-fame is his role as a CNN Chief Medical Correspondent. In his role as medical correspondent, he frequently makes appearances and speaks about health-related issues. Beyond being a medical reporter, he is a writer and actor.

Dr. Gupta is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, but his influential presence is felt far beyond social media spheres. He was a co-creator of TEDMED, he publishes a column for TIME, and he has authored bestselling books (some of which were adapted for TV, in miniseries format). Dr. Gupta is a name that’s synonymous with accessible, friendly, and reliable medical reporting, which is particularly essential in an age of coronavirus and COVID-19 news.

Followers: 2,300,000

4. BBC Health News – @bbchealth

The BBC Health News is a global public health influencer. It delivers medical and health news from the UK and around the world. The BBC is rated as one of the UK’s top news sources by more than 53% of the people surveyed.

That level of credibility is also important because their international audience has come to rely the trustworthiness of the health and wellness news from this prominent news source. BBC Health News is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, with focus on well-being and lifestyle. It offers a range of healthcare education and recourse distribution.

Followers: 2,200,000

5. Gates Foundation – @gatesfoundation

The Gates Foundation is at the very peak of public health influencers. It’s a private foundation, originally called the William H. Gates Foundation. Bill Gates was one of the founders of Microsoft, so he was already an influential American figure. Gates Foundation is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter.

Launched in 2000, the Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world, with a primary focus on making sure that more children and young people “survive and thrive.” The foundation also has the goal of empowering the poorest individuals from around the world. They emphasize empowerment of women and girls to transform lives.

Followers: 2,000,000

6. Mayo Clinic – @MayoClinic

The Mayo Clinic is a crucial public health influencer, with the mission to inspire hope. They offer comprehensive healthcare services to patients through education, clinical practice, and research. Their value is: “The needs of the patient come first.”

Mayo Clinic is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter because of its work-renowned reputation as a leading-edge and technologically advanced network of hospitals and clinics. It’s a preferred provider for conditions and diseases that are difficult to treat, which also contributes to its reputation as a reliable source for health-, medical-, and research-related news and view.

Followers: 1,900,000

7. CDC — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – @CDCgov

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the primary public health influencers, as the leading national public health institute. It’s a US federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services. The CDC is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter.

The role of the CDC is to protect public health and promote a higher quality of life, which they accomplish by education, prevention, and control related to disease, disability, injury, etc. They focus on the leading causes of disability and death, with programs that are designed to reduce the consequences. The preferred outcome is a healthy, productive life.

Followers: 1,400,000

8. National Institutes of Health – @NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one of the primary public health influencers, as a focal point for healthcare research. It is sponsored by Federal Government agencies. As the nation’s largest biomedical research agency, the goal of the NIH is to promote treatment and prevention, while building a knowledge base of healthcare data.

The NIH is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, with the power to make a positive impact and save lives. Beyond its role as a leading research agency, the NIH continually makes important discoveries that saves lives and improves the improves the quality of life for Americans and people worldwide. The NIH oversee and facilitate training opportunities for researchers.

Followers: 1,000,000

9. NPR Health News – @NPRHealth

The National Public Radio (NPR) Health News is one of the primary public health influencers, with coverage from the NPR Science Desk. It covers topics related to healthcare, medicine, diet, recipes, drugs, world health issues, and disease control. It also covers disease prevention, health insurance, medical research, etc.

The NPR Health News is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, because it offers comprehensive and savvy impressions of what is going on in the world of healthcare. NPR Health features in-depth interviews and soundscapes that capture the unique human-interest angles. NPR Health News shares the healthcare news and views that make a difference in your life, while shaping public policy and the evolution of health and wellness choice.

Followers: 973,200

10. U.S. Surgeon General – @Surgeon_General

The U.S. Surgeon General is a key public health influencer. As the operational head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the surgeon general is the public health spokesperson for the federal government.

The US Surgeon General is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, with the power to call attention to current health and wellness concern, whether that be related to COVID-19 or smoking. The US Surgeon General has the responsibility to improve the health and quality of life for Americans, with directives that can directly impact work, everyday life, and play (extracurricular activities).

Followers:  650,900

11. U.S. FDA – @FDArecalls

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is one of the primary public health influencers. It is a federal agency, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA is an executive department, responsible for protecting public health.

The role of the FDA is to ensure safety, but also to verify the efficacy of biological products and medical devices. They have oversight over the nation’s food supply and other topical human products (cosmetics). The FDA is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, with the distribution of news, views, and education.

Followers: 641,100

12. NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine) – @NEJM

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is a main academic public health influencer. It is a weekly medical journal, from the Massachusetts Medical Society. The NEJM is a prestigious peer-reviewed medical journal.

The NEJM is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, with the highest impact of any journal covering internal medicine. It is also the oldest continuously published journal, with the first issue appearing in 1812. The Journal Watch offer summaries and commentary on journals, as a learning opportunity for clinicians. Other areas of influence include areas of clinical practice and general medicine.

Followers: 635,800

13. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – @DrTedros

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is a significant health influencer. He is an Ethiopian academic and politician, who is also the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2017.

Dr. Ghebreyesus is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, with a long history in healthcare that began in 1986. He is an internationally recognized researcher on malaria. He has been a vocal advocate for healthcare reform, with an emphasis on improving access to healthcare services. Most recently, he has been a prominent figure in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Followers: 596,100

14. American Public Health Association (APHA) – @PublicHealth

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is one of the main public health influencers. With the perspective and knowledge derived by their 150-years of advocacy and influence, the APHA directs its voice toward influencing policies and public health issues.

The APHA is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. They stand apart for their longevity, but their multifaceted approach is directed to a mission of improving public health and equity in relation to health and wellness. Their vision is to create “the healthiest nation” in just one generation. It’s a lofty goal, but it’s one that APHA has dedicated itself in the pursuit of.

Followers: 490,700

15. JHU Public Health – @JohnsHopkinsSPH

The John Hopkins University (JHU) Pubic Health is one of highest-regarded public health influencers. Their goal is to save lives and to protect lives, with a focus of the millions who will benefit from the policy analysis, health research, and implementation.

JHU Public Health is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. Their repository includes podcasts, webcasts, and articles that feature the most current evidence-based insights in public health. The JHU Public Health offers their influential voice to the calls for persistent caution and responsible advocacy in the face of COVID-19 and other healthcare issues both in the US and worldwide.

Followers: 455,500

16. Global Citizen – @GlblCtzn

The Global Citizen is a new breed of public health influencers. It’s a movement of concerned and engaged citizens. They’re using that collective voice to demand action to end extreme poverty and to ensure equality. They work toward the “possible dream,” which includes advocating for the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.

The Global Citizen is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. Their current focus is on the world-wide response to COVID-19, highlighting positive responses to the pandemic as well as information dissemination via FAQs, and celebrity voices. It’s designed to be the platform where concerned citizens can take action and make an impact.

Followers: 392,600

17. JAMA – @JAMA_current

The JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association is one of the public health influencers. The JAMA covers virtually every healthcare specialty and healthcare topic. It’s a credible academic source, with current research and findings.

The JAMA is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. Their objective is to promote the art and science of medicine. Launched in 1883 by Nathan Smith Davis, the JAMA holds the illustrious claim-to-fame of being the most widely circulated medical journal in the world. As the purveyor of educational information and resources related to healthcare, the JAMA also is in the position to report on and offer insight into the still rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Followers: 336,100

18. Eric Topol – @EricTopol

Eric Topol is a significant public health influencer. He’s an American cardiologist and geneticist, with expertise as a digital medical researcher. He’s well known for his outspoken stance about the safety of rofecoxib (Vioxx).

After his unceremonious departure from Cleveland Clinic, Topol founded Scripps Research Translational Institute. He also holds prominent roles as Editor-in-Chief at and Medscape. Eric is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, but he’s also a prominent author, with a focus on the juxtaposition of technology and healthcare.

Followers: 193,900

19. Scott Gottlieb, MD – @ScottGottliebMD

Scott Gottlieb, MD is one of the top public health influencers. He’s an American medical policy expert, physician, and health advocate, well-known as the former Commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), from 2017-2019.

Dr. Gottlieb is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. He is still a vocal voice in public health spheres, with commentary on the current state of healthcare in relation to widespread pandemics like the coronavirus, COVID-19.

Followers: 162,900

20. Dr. Robert R. Redfield – @CDCDirector

Dr. Robert R. Redfield is one of the most important public health influencers. He’s an American virologist, and he is the current Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is also the Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. His early background in medical research was influenced by the fact that his parents were both NIH scientists.

Dr. Redfield is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. He is renowned as a pioneer in virology research and therapeutic treatments for HIV infection and AIDS. He was the co-recipient of the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award at the University of Maryland, in 2012, and he has received numerous other awards as a physician-scientist.

Followers: 153,600

21. Francis S. Collins, MD, Ph.D. – @NIHDirector

Francis S. Collins, MD, Ph.D. is one of the crucial public health influencers. He’s an American geneticist-physician, as well as famous as a director and “gene hunter,” with gene discoveries that are now part of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

Francis is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. He has been the director for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2009. As a spokesperson for the nation’s largest biomedical research agency, his role at the NIH focuses on promoting treatment and prevention. He trains and oversees the work of researchers, while playing an essential role as a influencer and purveyor of knowledge.

Followers: 120,300

22. Eric Feigl-Ding – @DrEricDing

Eric Feigl-Ding is a prestigious public health influencer. He is an American public health scientist, with a current “Visiting Scientist” position at the Harvard School of Public Health. He also holds key executive roles at the Macroclinic International.

As an award-winning scientist and speaker, Eric is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. He’s been widely published with 100+ scientific papers across a range of topics including health economics, epidemiology, nutrition, and the prevention of disease (population-wide).

Followers: 115,700

23. Jeremy Konyndyk – @JeremyKonyndyk

Jeremy Konyndyk is one of the best public health influencers. He is a senior policy fellow at the Center of Global Development. His research focuses on USAID policy reform, humanitarian efforts, and outbreak preparedness on a global scale.

Jeremy is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. His background also includes a prominent position as the director of the USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) for the Obama administration. In the coronavirus, COVID-19, he  famously made a “no-regrets” correlation with the preparedness effort.

Followers: 54,400

24. Kai Kupferschmidt – @kakape

Kai Kupferschmidt is one of the most respected public health influencers in Europe.  Kai is a recognized figure for his role of contributing correspondent for Science magazine. The publication is based in Berlin, Germany. He writes about infectious diseases, nutrition, science policy, and evolution.

With a diploma in molecular biomedicine from the University of Bonn, Germany, he  attended Berlin Journalism School. In addition to his contributing correspondent role for the Science magazine, he writes for the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. Kai is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter.

Followers: 48,000

25. Caitlin Rivers, PhD – @cmyeaton

Caitlin Rivers, PhD is one of the leading public health influencers. Dr. Rivers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Rivers is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter, with her predictive modeling.  She is an epidemiologist who has been a prominent voice in the coronavirus, COVID-19 debate, as a proponent for utmost caution, agressive prevention, and absolute containment in the face of great danger.

Followers: 37,800

26. Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM – @lisagualtieri

Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM, is a model public health influencer. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, at Tufts University School of Medicine. She teaches about Digital Health, as part of the Health Informatic and Analytics Program.

Dr. Gualtieri is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. She founded to collect and distribute refurbished fitness trackers to underserved communities. One of the questions being raised in the current health and wellness climate is whether a tracking device could change behavior and/or even help to ensure social distancing and stem the spread of COVID-19.

Followers: 29,300

27. Isaac Bogoch, MD – @BogochIsaac

Isaac Bogoch, MD, is one of the primary public health influencers. He’s a specialist on infectious diseases, at Toronto General Hospital. He’s also an Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Bogoch is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. He’s become a prominent voice in the wide-world of healthcare news related to COVID-19, with specific reference to the spread of the virus. He’s been frequently cited as a coronavirus expert, but also quoted about the inevitability of spread.

Followers: 11,600

28. Dr. Oni Blackstock – @DrOniBee

Dr. Oni Blackstock is a public health influencer in an epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is an Assistant Commissioner for the NYC Health Department. She is an HIV specialist, researcher, and primary care physician, but she also oversees programs and activities related to the HIV/AIDS Bureau.

Dr. Blackstock is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. She is also a specialist on internal medicine. She was initially inspired by her mother’s dedication and community involvement to become a doctor and patient advocacy. Her voice is particularly important in the COVID-19 discussions.

Followers: 8200

29. Trevor Mundel – @trevormundel

As the President of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Trevor Mundel is one of the primary public health influencers. He leads efforts to develop intervention efforts to address the leading causes of disability and death primarily in developing countries.

Trevor is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter. Since he joined the foundation in 2011, he has managed R&D efforts in Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, Malaria, and other Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Followers: 7,546

30. BlackEpiMatters – @black_epi

BlackEpiMatters is a fascinating public health influencer. Its key focus is on uplifting epidemiologists, as well as offering a supporting environment to facilitate discussions. It started as the #BlackEpiMatters hashtag, which evolved into the @black_epi Twitter account, and then the meeting of epidemiologists. So, BlackEpiMatters is a key influencer on Public Health Twitter.

Followers: 1800

Who Has Influence in Public Health?

There are thousands of public health organizations around the world. Perhaps the World Health Organization is the most prominent. The United Nations founded WHO in 1948, and the organization is the international authority on public health issues. In the United States, one of the most important public health organizations is the Centers for Disease Control, the national public health institute designed to protect public health and safety. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is one of the premier medical research centers in the world.

important people in public health include scientists who have unflinchingly battled epidemics and pandemics. Most recently, Dr. Anthony Falci, director of NIAID, has made headlines by urging the American public to embrace social distancing and follow recommendations to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. He was instrumental in the battle to curb the AIDs epidemic as well as various respiratory disease epidemics.

Other important people in public health history include:

  • Sir Waldemar Mordechai Wolff Haffkine: A Russian Jewish scientist credited with the development of the anti-cholera vaccine that saved cholera and bubonic plague victims.
  • Jonas Salk: He developed a vaccine for polio that eradicated the disease in most countries.
  • Alexander Fleming: In 1928, he discovered Penicillin.
  • Dr. Margaret Chan: She served as Director-General of the WHO and as a Public Health Director in Hong Kong during the Swine flu (H5N1) outbreak in 1997. Chan also handled the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak successfully in 2003.

Many newspapers and reports have contributed to public health journalism. Public health journalism reports the facts of outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics without sensationalizing them. Today, most journalists act responsibly and in the public interest when reporting on major issues impacting public health.

Why is Good Leadership Important to Public Health?

Is leadership and management important in public health? One study points out the importance of leadership in public health in spearheading the evolution of healthcare to community-wide approaches. Initiatives to expand competency development in public health leadership should concentrate on preparing community health systems to meet public health demands in an era of pandemics such as H5N1, SARS, and COVID-19.

Responsible leadership in public health will entail acceptance of an ecologically sound health model. Progressive public health leaders should promote clinical advances in understanding health management, which is directly dependent on competency development in public health leadership itself.

Is leadership and management important in public health?  The truth is, it’s essential. A shift to telehealth services and other benefits of a “systems perspective,” can alleviate the burden on our health delivery systems for patients seeking non-critical care.

How Can Ordinary People Influence Public Health Policy?

There are five main structural influences on public health, including:

  • Individual factors
  • Interpersonal factors
  • Institutional/organizational factors
  • Community factors
  • Public policy factors

The levels of influence public health leaders emphasize depend on the circumstances of a potential or existing threat influencing public health policy. For example, political influence on public health comes in the form of federal and state mandates to protect the general public. The ban on smoking in public is a broad example of political pressure to protect individuals.

The individual decision to smoke mainly affects the person smoking. However, second-hand smoke can impact anyone coming into contact with smokers. Therefore, a solution to the problem of second-hand smoke falls under the category of political influence on public health. To illustrate the levels of influence public health, consider a public campaign urging smokers to kick the habit. This is an example of the individual level of public health policy.

Institutions such as the WHO, CDC, and NIH exhibit structural influences on public health. There are plenty of recent examples demonstrating how the institutional layer plays a huge rule in influencing public health policy. Wide-scale mandates such as voluntary or involuntary social distance encompass the public health layer. At this level, public health takes precedence over everything else, including the economy and the rights of business owners and individual citizens.

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Best Practices During a Pandemic

As health officials worldwide warn of the spread of the new/novel coronavirus – officially named as COVID-19, everyone (young, old, healthy, etc.) must heed the precautionary warnings issued by health experts. At this time, health officials are only first understanding how the conditions and the disease caused by coronavirus impacts a human being.

Currently, the most important thing for each individual to understand is just how important it is to learn how to prevent a virus (and its symptoms) from spreading and how to avoid getting a virus entirely.

Viruses – A Primer

A virus is a parasitic organism that exists amorphously – that is, without a cell membrane. A virus cannot replicate itself unless it has attached to a host.

Examples of better-known viruses include –

  • SARS.
  • West Nile.
  • Measles.
  • Ebola.
  • Polio.
  • Bird Flu, to name a few.

When trying to learn how to prevent a virus from spreading or trying to develop a vaccine to treat the causes of coronavirus, it is important to realize that two different viruses (be it a bird, animal, or human) within the same host can combine to create a new type of virus that has the ability to jump species.COVID

What is the Coronavirus?

The coronavirus (so-named for its ‘crown-like’ appearance) is a virus that causes respiratory problems related to one’s sinuses, throat, lungs, and nose, among other respiratory areas. Many (some estimates reach as high as 80%) people who become sick with the coronavirus experience symptoms like most people would associate with the flu. Still, others remain asymptomatic.

At this time, the best of the best in the science and medical communities are joining forces to discover how to prevent viruses like COVID – 19 from reaching catastrophic proportions. Until such time, it is critical for each of us to follow these virus prevention suggestions –

Preventing Viruses – Practice Social Distancing

Depending on where you may live, many Americans have been advised to stay home and avoid contact with others to survive this pandemic – especially large crowds. This is a relatively new phenomenon, recently coined – social distancing. The purpose of social distancing is to simply limit social contact as a means of preventing viruses – from spreading through social contact.

Social Distancing is defined as proactively choosing to remain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and another person. The distance is important because that is the general reach of droplets from a cough or sneeze.

It is important that those individuals deemed vulnerable – – the elderly (over 65 years of age), the very young, the infirm, or those with compromised immune systems – remain ultra-cautious because while it is known how to avoid a virus, what causes coronavirus, the incubation period of coronavirus still remains unknown.

Preventing Viruses – Wash Hands Often and Avoid Touching your Face

Each of us has a personal responsibility to help prevent/limit the spread of COVID-19 (or any other dangerous virus/bacteria) to other members of the population, including family and friends. Following this advice is especially critical for those individuals who may develop deadly complications from contracting COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a virus that is easily spread as it can ‘live’ on ‘surfaces’ for extended periods of time – although, at this moment, it is not fully understood how long. Given the uncertainty, the most prudent approach to best practices during the COVID-19 Pandemic would be, at the very bare minimum –

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 30 seconds.
  • Wash your hands with an alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your nose, mouth, or your eyes.
  • Try to stay 6 feet apart from others.

How to Avoid Viruses – Wear disposable gloves when going in public places and wash hands as soon as possible

As epidemiologists and medical specialists continue to determine how, why and what is the coronavirus in humans, it is imperative that everyone wear disposable gloves (if available) when venturing into public places to pick up one’s necessities and everyday essentials.

As noted above, it is critical to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least a half of one minute until more is understood about how and what is coronavirus in humans

  • When returning home after being in a public place.
  • After coughing or sneezing.
  • When your hands are visibly dirty.

Don’t Panic-Buy or Hoard Supplies Until Experts Determine What Cause Coronavirus

Panic buying is an ego reaction to fear. Panic buying occurs in anticipation that a shortage of products is imminent and forthcoming. Fear arises when conflicting messages abound, people, feel as if they are losing control, and guidance from officials lacks cohesiveness and direction.

And, unfortunately, panic buying is the kind of event that begets more panic buying. As such, level heads must prevail in times of concern – like the COVID-19 pandemic. Ironically, as popular as toilet paper has become, the reality is toilet paper is ineffective if one is looking to learn how to avoid catching a virus at this time.

Keep Prescriptions Current & Nonprescription Medicines Available

In times of uncertainty, it is prudent to keep the following in your home or medicine chest –

  • Prescription medicines
  • Non-prescription medicines
    • Cold Medicines
    • Smart Water/Gatorade for Electrolytes
    • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing to prevent the spread of a virus.
    • Vitamins
    • Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or other pain relievers in your home (or whatever you are sheltered-in-place)- so these meds are available while you continue to abide by the requests of government officials.

Supplement these meds with vitamins and supplements that help support a healthy immune system. Don’t forget about maintaining a complete first-aid kit in case of emergencies when you (and others) are staying home to participate in proactively preventing viruses in and around their home and family.

Keep your Health Records Accessible on Paper or Online

It is always a smart notion to maintain a file of copies of records that relate to –

  • Pharmacy records
  • Doctor records.
  • Dentist records.
  • Hospital records.
  • Urgent Care or Outpatient facility records.

If you maintain electronic versions of health records from medical sources, be sure that these important records are backed up appropriately.

Remember, that all Americans have the legal right to obtain their own health records (Personal Health Record (PHR)) from medical professionals and facilities. This is further explained by’s Personal Health Records and the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

According to the HHS, a PHR is an important document that helps provide a picture of a patient’s longitudinal history of health. A Personal Health Record typically provides data regarding test results, medications, and diagnoses, to name a few.

How to Avoid Viruses & Maintain One’s Psychological Well-being

Maintain a Regular Sleep Pattern

Getting enough sleep is important for a number of health reasons. Many studies have shown that one of the most important benefits of sleeping well during the night is that sleep improves the number of T-cells in one’s body. T—cells are the body’s defense against intracellular viruses like the flu or even the herpes virus.

Getting enough sleep is a problem for nearly 1/3 of all Americans, according to a study in 2016 by the CDC -the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

T-cells activate a protein-like substance called integrins, which attaches to invading viral cells with the primary purpose of killing these viral cells. However, studies have also shown that high levels of stress (and the hormones produced by stress) can reduce the effectiveness of T-cells defending the body against potential viral infections.

Keep to Normal Everyday Routines as Much as Possible

As difficult as it might seem at times, it is imperative to try to keep one’s daily routine as normal as possible, given the unusual circumstances we are currently facing. This is especially important for those adults who are role models for children who also sense the underlying anxiety present in the face of a pandemic.

Be certain to –

  • Take a walk each afternoon or after dinner if that is what you typically do each day.
  • Clean your home as normally would, but make sure to wipe contacts that are often touched (doorknobs, cabinet knobs, cellphones, etc.) more often with a disinfectant.

Maintain Physical Activity & Keep your Immune System Boosted

There are many studies that suggest that physical activity and exercise may help increase one’s immune system’s effectiveness. First, exercise helps decrease excess weight, which allows one’s body to function at a more optimal level.

  • Physical activity changes white blood cells and antibodies – part of the body’s immune system.
  • Physical activity mitigates the release of the hormones associated with stress, which helps increase the immune system’s effectiveness.
  • Physical activity raises the body’s temperature, which has been shown to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Exercise also releases the feel-good hormone -endorphin- which helps bolster most people’s attitudes towards life’s challenges.

Do Not Panic

Panic, like hysteria, is counterproductive to solving a pandemic or any other out of control system- especially if one’s goal is to help quell the fears that seem to have morphed into a new brand of conventional wisdom. Panic is furthered by a lack of data and a skewed perspective by the masses.

For additional information, follow these important links to relevant government sources –

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Coronavirus and Public Health

The disease caused by coronavirus is called COVID-19. The WHO recently declared the COVID-19 crisis a pandemic. Ebola and Zika outbreaks were classified as international emergencies, not pandemics. This classification causes a heightened level of alarm, and governments and health organizations worldwide are scrambling to assuage the impact of this highly contagious disease. Public and private research institutions are rushing to discover as much information about this particular strain of coronavirus and inform the public of ways they can protect themselves, loved ones, and their communities in general.

How did this happen? What are causes of coronavirus?

Coronavirus strains have been around, usually affecting various animal populations exclusively, for a long time. This particular strain of coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since this strain is so new, there isn’t much, if any, scientific research about it. But we can all still do our part to take common sense preventative measures to contain it from spreading, especially to certain especially vulnerable members of society. Studying outbreaks of other infectious disease provides helpful insights and strategies for striving to minimize the impact of COVID-19, as much as humanly possible.

What’s the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic?

The words pandemic and epidemic are very similar-sounding, but their meanings are distinct. According to the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control, an epidemic is when there is an increase, often sudden, in instances of a disease, above a normal  level, for a certain population. An endemic level of instances of a disease is the usual amount of cases present during normal circumstances. For instance, every year, there is an endemic level of flu infections.

Pandemic, on the other hand, refers to an epidemic that has spread to a whole range of countries or continents, affecting a large amount of people. A spotlight has been shown on the field of epidemiology as news reports detail the unfolding of the coronavirus pandemic across the world over the last few months. Epidemiology is the study of the causes of health conditions, including diseases, in certain populations. Today, epidemiologists are studying multiple variables in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 all over the world.

How COVID-19 spreads – causes of coronavirus

In some ways, COVID-19 is similar to other viruses like the flu. It is spread through those infected with it coughing and sneezing, which releases infected water-droplets into the air, where they spread to other people. When people breathe in air or touch surfaces that have COVID-19 water droplets in them, and then touch their face, mouth, or nose, the microbes enter their bodies, and they get infected with the virus. The incubation period of coronavirus lasts between 2-14 days. Some people don’t have symptoms (or have very mild symptoms), and may unwittingly pass it on to others. Since the incubation period of coronavirus is so long, coronavirus news updates indicate that many schools and workplaces are closing down temporarily for a week or more in order to prevent its spread.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus? What are some coronavirus signs and symptoms?

As previously mentioned, symptoms of coronavirus include coughing, sneezing, fever, and shortness of breath (usually mild respiratory issues). People who have asthma and other respiratory issues may be at greater risk if they contract COVID-19. Novel coronavirus, and the diseased caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), can only be conclusively diagnosed through a laboratory test.

Let’s conduct a coronavirus risk assessment

What are coronavirus risk factors? Is this a cause for panic? Let’s strive to separate coronavirus facts vs. fiction in this section. Coronavirus news updates often include plenty of fear-mongering tactics in order to increase viewership. Coronavirus facts and fears people have about it are often in conflict. Let’s tune into the facts with a clear-headed coronavirus risk assessement. Though it’s important to take proactive steps to reduce infection rates around the world, coronavirus symptoms in humans are generally mild for otherwise healthy people with strong immune systems. The Johns Hopkins Institute has a helpful counter that’s frequently updated. As of March 13 at 9:15am EST, this count indicated that there were 135,467 cases of COVID-19, 4,981 total deaths, and 69,645 total recovered (link 6). This means that while it is a serious virus with occasionally-deadly results, coronavirus facts and figures are often polar opposites. These coronavirus facts and figures confirm that the vast majority of people fully recover from a COVID-19 infection. Data is a great way to put the public’s sharpest fears at ease.

Who is vulnerable? Coronavirus in infants

The real cause for concern arises when considering certain populations. The repercussions of being infected with coronavirus in infants are completely unknown at this point. Data about coronavirus risk for babies isn’t available, though scientists around the world are working hard to discover potentially life-saving information about this virus’ impact on newborns. As a result, the CDC has published a comprehensive list of recommendations for those in obstetric settings during this pandemic. The good news is that the protocols for mitigating coronavirus risk for babies are similar to those for other infectious diseases such as the flu. Nurses and other health professionals are already familiar with these practices and implement them regularly to protect mothers and their infants. The effects of coronavirus in infants aren’t known at this point, so limiting exposure for infants is the best step we can take to protect these vulnerable members of our society. The coronavirus signs and symptoms discussed above also apply to newborns, so everyone should be vigilant about noticing them and making sure infants are tested, if needed.

Other coronavirus risk factors

Respiratory illness is one of the key coronavirus symptoms in humans. Let’s discuss some coronavirus facts and myths. It may seem like this epidemic is a deadly problem across the world, but this clearly falls in the “myth” category when analyzing coronavirus facts and myths. The elderly, those with respiratory problems, those who are immunocompromised, and very young people (babies and toddlers) who don’t have solid immune systems are vulnerable to complications if they are infected with COVID-19. For otherwise healthy people, with robust immune systems, this novel coronavirus strain isn’t a cause for panic. Though of course, it’s essential that we take precautions to protect vulnerable populations. If you take care of your parents or grandparents, make sure you clearly know the answer to these questions – “what is the coronavirus in humans? What are the symptoms of coronavirus?” And make sure you take the time to read up on coronavirus facts and figures to put your mind at ease so you can take care of your loved ones with a sense of calm. Taking the time to separate coronavirus facts vs. fiction enables people to make wise, well-informed decisions.

What causes coronavirus? What is coronavirus in humans?

Of course, as previously discussed, coronavirus facts and fears sometimes contradict. Some people are still not clear on what causes coronavirus. While there are plenty of strains of coronavirus that impact various animal population, it’s not totally known what is coronavirus in humans. Sure most people recover, but for this strain, what is coronavirus in humans? There are some people who have been infected with COVID-19 and don’t know how they got it, suggesting that there may be some environmental factors that impact the spread of this infectious disease. Community spread seems to be happening with COVID-19,

How are public health systems reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic is a tremendous test for public health systems all around the world. How are they responding to this ongoing emergency? As a result of the rapid proliferation of COVID-19, the coronavirus public health response has included the issuing of recommendations to cancel just about every gathering of more than 10 people, including church services and special events. Officials and leaders around the world are striving to be proactive to issue coronavirus public health response recommendations ahead of a potential crisis situation. Schools in cities and suburbs around the US have been canceled, with many campuses enabling online, distance learning. Many people are working from home, if they can, which presents its own challenges, especially if schools and child care centers are closed. The coronavirus public health emergency has caused the DOW stock exchange to plummet, and those who work in restaurant and retail industries are experiencing a sharp drop in business. No doubt, we will continue to see effects of the coronavirus public health emergency for months and years to come.

Who is working on a COVID-19 vaccine?

There are various impactful vaccines currently in widespread use throughout the world to prevent infectious disease including the measles, MMR, mumps, rubella, and flu. Surely, at some point in the hopefully not-to-distant future, there will be a vaccine for COVID-19. Scientists throughout the world are working together and rushing to develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine to put the public’s fears at ease and prevent the number of deaths because of novel coronavirus infection from continuing to mount. However, because of the time-consuming nature of vaccine development, clinical trials, and implementation, it’s highly unlikely that a COVID-19 will be available to the public within a year. Clinical trials alone usually take at least 12 months to complete. Government approval processes can also be lengthy and time-consuming, but it’s worth it in order to ensure the vaccine is totally safe and effective for public use.

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How to Survive a Pandemic

In these uncertain times, it can be tough to keep your head on straight, amidst all the misinformation and panic spreading through the news. It’s vital that you understand what’s true and what isn’t true about the coronavirus in order to take care of yourself and your family, as well as to do your part in stopping the spread of the disease. Let’s take a look at some of the facts related to the current state of the coronavirus.

Currently, the world is in a state of pandemic. Many people are wondering about the difference between pandemic vs. epidemic. The difference between epidemic vs pandemic is easy to understand. An epidemic is a widespread disease that affects many people at the same time. You may have heard of the flu being referred to as an epidemic. The opioid addiction crisis is also often referred to as an epidemic in certain areas of the United States.

What Is A Pandemic?

A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread throughout an entire area, such as a country, continent, or throughout the world. In the case of the coronavirus, the answer to, “what is a pandemic?” is that it’s a virus that has spread across the entire globe. While many people don’t understand the difference between pandemic and epidemic, in the case of the coronavirus, it’s vital to understand that the answer to “what is a pandemic?” is different from the answer to “what is an epidemic?”

When Does An Epidemic Become A Pandemic?

If you’ve been following the coronavirus crisis, you’ve likely been wondering when does an epidemic become a pandemic? For people who are searching for “what is the difference between epidemic and pandemic?” the answer is clear. The difference between a pandemic and epidemic is that a pandemic affects far more people. An epidemic affects many people but is typically contained to one area. A pandemic has a much wider reach than an epidemic.

Difference Between An Epidemic And A Pandemic

When searching for the differences between epidemics vs pandemics, you’ll find that at this point, all health experts are classifying the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic. The difference between pandemics vs epidemics is clear: while an epidemic is contained to a certain area of the world, a pandemic spreads wide and fast. After a disease or virus is no longer contained in one area and begins to affect a country, continent, or the entire world, it becomes a pandemic.

How Do Viruses Cause Pandemics?

It’s normal to feel anxious or scared as you watch the news and learn more about the coronavirus. Let’s take a look at some key information on how viruses work, and what you can do to keep you and your family safe as the pandemic spreads across the globe.

What Is A Virus?

Different from a bacterial infection, a virus is genetic material that can only replicate within a host. Many people are wondering, “what is the definition of a virus?” as they work to stay safe throughout the coronavirus outbreak. The answer to what is the definition of a virus is simple: it’s an infective agent that’s surrounded by a protein and contains genetic material. Viruses are often tough to kill once they inhabit a living person. A virus needs a living thing to survive for a long period of time. While viruses are considered living organisms, when you search for, “what is a virus?” you’ll find that viruses struggle to survive for more than a few days on their own.

Viruses are tiny, and cannot be seen without the use of specialized medical equipment. The coronavirus is one-thousandth of the width of an eyelash, making it difficult to see even with a powerful microscope. This is the case for most viruses that can harm the human body. If you’re wondering, “what is a virus made of?” or “what is a basic characteristic of a virus?” the answers are surprisingly simple. Viruses are tiny packets of genetic material that replicate within a host. They’re able to get into cells and wreak havoc on living things. Viruses are notoriously difficult to kill.

Many of us have had the frustrating experience of going to the doctor when we’re sick, expecting to get antibiotics to make us feel better. It can feel disheartening when the doctor says that it’s viral. You may be left wondering, “what is a viral infection?” Viruses are tough to kill and don’t respond to antibiotics (which work to kill bacteria). Since the coronavirus is viral, it’s especially tough for doctors to find a cure.

What Is A Syndrome?

As you follow the coronavirus, you may hear people mentioning that it’s especially dangerous to people who have certain syndromes or are immunocompromised. If you’re wondering, “what is a syndrome?” the answer is simple: it’s a group of symptoms that create a condition. Some syndromes are serious and require intensive medical treatment, such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Other syndromes, such as asthma, can be monitored and treated as necessary.

For people who have syndromes that create a weakened immune system, the coronavirus can be particularly dangerous. Normally, our immune systems can fight off most viral infections. For people who have weakened immune systems, this can be hard. This can mean that the symptoms of the coronavirus can be intense, and require hospitalization.

What Is A Viral Infection?

If you’re wondering “what is a viral infection?” you may be curious about how to tell whether you’ve acquired symptoms caused by a virus. When the body acquires a virus, a few things may happen. If the immune system is stronger than the virus, the body may be able to kill the virus, leaving the person who had the virus none the wiser. If the immune system doesn’t kill the virus but is able to keep it at bay, stopping the person from feeling the symptoms associated with a viral infection, they may carry and transmit the virus, while not realizing that they have the virus in their body. If the immune system is not strong enough to kill the virus, the person may acquire a viral infection. The symptoms of a viral infection depend on the virus itself.

What Is Caused By A Virus?

Feeling some symptoms, and not sure whether they’re related to a cold, the flu, or the coronavirus? You’re not alone. Many people are searching, “what is caused by a virus?” and attempting to self diagnose before seeking professional health care. The coronavirus creates many different symptoms, and the symptoms may differ from person to person. In people who have strong immune systems, the virus may create a dry cough, high fever, fatigue, a sore throat, gastrointestinal symptoms, and shortness of breath. For people who have weakened immune systems, or whose bodies are struggling to overcome the virus, their symptoms may become more serious.

In people who have weakened immune systems, it’s essential that they get treatment at a hospital if they acquire the coronavirus. There is currently no cure for coronavirus. When a person has a weakened immune system and seeks medical treatment, it’s to help their bodies deal with the effects of the virus, not to find a cure. People who have weakened immune systems often have more trouble breathing when they’re affected by the coronavirus than someone who has a healthy immune system. This can mean that they require intensive care in order to continue breathing as their body fights off the virus. This requires trained medical professionals and specialized equipment that allow them to stay strong as their body works hard to get better.

How To Prevent A Virus

If you’re searching for how to prevent a virus to keep you and the people you care about safe, you’re doing the right thing. It’s much easier to work toward preventing viruses than it is to fight them off once they’ve been acquired. As you search for how to prevent viruses, you’ll find that most of the tips for keeping yourself safe are simple.

Your best line of defense is simply to wash your hands often, with soap and hot water. Wash for 20 to 30 seconds (singing happy birthday twice is a great way to ensure that you’re washing your hands long enough).

When you don’t have access to a sink and warm water, using hand sanitizer is better than nothing. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer and rub it into your hands until they are fully dry. Don’t use hand sanitizer to replace regular handwashing. It’s not nearly as good at killing the coronavirus as soap and water.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. When the virus gets on your hands, it doesn’t immediately enter your body. For most people, it enters through the eyes, nose or mouth. Avoiding touching these parts of your body (especially when you’re in public) can go a long way toward preventing viruses.

Stay home as much as possible. Even if you’re not in an area with a shelter in place order, one of the best answers to how to avoid viruses is simply to stay put. When you stay home, you’re not giving viruses the chance to enter the body.

Get plenty of fresh air and sunlight into your home. When it’s warm enough, open the windows. Sunlight and fresh air can help to reduce the amount of the virus that stays in your home.

When you’re searching for how to avoid viruses, it can be tempting to go over the top in trying to sanitize everything in your home. Know that no matter how well you clean, you’ll never be able to have your house become the germ-free mecca of your dreams. Instead, practice common sense. Stay home when you can, seek medical attention (call first) if you get sick, and be sure to wash your hands as much as possible.

How To Avoid Getting A Virus

In addition to using safe, medically sound practices to keep the virus out of your body and out of your home, there are also things that you can do to answer the question of how to avoid getting a virus.

Keeping your body as healthy as possible is one of the best ways to answer the question of how to avoid a virus. Exercise, healthy food including plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoiding sugar, and drinking plenty of water can all go a long way in how to avoid catching a virus. If you don’t typically have healthy habits in place, this is a great time for you and your family to begin a healthier way of living. When your body is strong, your immune system can do a better job of fighting off contaminants, including viruses and bacteria.

Of course, there’s no amount of healthy living that can ensure that you never get sick. If you do get sick, continue with healthy activities as much as possible, at the advice of your medical professional. There’s no reason to exercise if you’re ill – your body needs rest to recover. Continuing with healthy foods and plenty of water can help your body get the nutrients and hydration it needs to get well.

What Makes Covid-19 Unique?

You’ve read it on social media, and perhaps you’ve even said it yourself – it can be tough to understand what is the coronavirus in humans, and how it’s different from other illnesses, such as the flu. Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, is responsible for the symptoms people are curious about when they search for what are the symptoms of coronavirus. You already know the answer to what causes coronavirus – now, let’s take a look at what makes this virus so unique and different from other illnesses in the world today.

One of the key pieces of answering the question of what is coronavirus in humans is understanding the incubation period. The incubation period of coronavirus is long – up to fourteen days. This means that coronavirus signs and symptoms may not show up for two weeks after a person has been exposed. During the incubation period, there are no coronavirus signs and symptoms. This means that the person would be able to pass the virus along to others, even though they’re showing no symptoms of coronavirus. This can cause coronavirus in infants and young children as well, even if the infants and children are never around someone who is showing symptoms. Luckily, most infants and children either carry the virus and don’t show coronavirus symptoms in humans, or get a mild case of the virus. Children and babies are especially resilient to coronavirus symptoms. Transmission from children to others, however, is one of the top causes of coronavirus. Children can transmit the disease to people who are immunocompromised, even though they aren’t showing any symptoms themselves.

Who Makes Decisions in a Pandemic?

A pandemic can be a scary time, especially when you’re hearing conflicting information from different sources of authority. The orders of the federal government of a country are the top orders to be followed, and they overrule orders from state and local governments. In the United States, as of now, there has not been a federal order mandating shelter in place or other actions. States are taking their own actions as they see fit. In states where shelter in place orders have not been issued, some local governments are placing orders to keep residents safe.

Governments listen to information from the CDC, WHO, and private health organizations to decide what makes the most sense for keeping their residents safe. These organizations give recommendations on how to proceed through the pandemic period.

What is a Shelter in Place Order?

If you’ve been issued a shelter in place order, you probably have a lot of questions. You may be wondering, “what does shelter in place mean?” or “what is shelter in place?” If your area is ordered to shelter in place, you may feel scared or unsure of what to do next. Shelter in place means exactly what it sounds like – stay put as much as possible. While sheltering in place, you’ll want to stay tuned in to local news outlets to stay on top of what’s going on in your area.

Sheltering in place can look different in different areas, and you’ll want to check with your local, state, and federal regulations to find out wha the sheltering in place order means for you. In many areas, sheltering in place means that you’re expected to stay put in your home, with a few exceptions. You may be permitted to leave your home to get food, care for sick family members, or exercise outdoors. Shelter in place means that unless you’re considered essential personnel at work, you’ll be expected to work from home.

It’s important to note that shelter in place means different things depending on the circumstances. If you’ve had to do a shelter in place near me before for a weather-related issue (such as a tornado), you know that the rules are a little bit different. For weather-related issues, it may be completely unacceptable to leave the home. For a shelter in place near me during a health issue, the rules are often a little bit different.

What Do I Need To Shelter In Place?

As you comply with shelter in place orders, there are a few important things to consider. First, you need to understand the shelter in place definition issued by your governing body. Secondly, you’ll need to understand the answer to the question of, “what do I need to shelter in place?”

For most people who are wondering, “what do you need to shelter in place?” during the coronavirus pandemic, the shelter in place definition dictates that you leave the house as little as possible. This can mean that you’ll need plenty of food and other necessary supplies in order to shelter in place so that you’re going to the grocery store less than normal. You’ll also want to stock up on your medications so that you can reduce your trips to the pharmacy.

When you’re wondering, “what is shelter in place?” or “what does shelter in place mean?” and you’re working to prepare to stay home for long periods of time, don’t forget that you’re going to need more than food. When you do have to go to the store, be sure to get a supply of laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and other things that you need. The goal isn’t to never leave your home again – it’s to reduce the number of times you need to be in public to slow the spread of the virus.

As you shelter in place, remember that you’re doing the right thing for the people around you. If you’re someone with a healthy immune system, it can be frustrating to know that your body could likely handle the coronavirus. Remember that you’re not just doing this for you – you’re doing this to reduce to the spread of the virus to the people around you who wouldn’t be able to easily fight it off. While your body may be strong enough for coronavirus, this isn’t the case for the person down the street who is going through chemotherapy, or for the elderly person at the grocery store.

By slowing the spread of the disease, you’re making it more likely that the people who get sick will be able to get the healthcare that they need. Currently, hospitals are becoming overwhelmed quickly by the number of people who need serious medical help due to their coronavirus symptoms. By sheltering in place, you’re slowing the rate at which the disease will spread to others. This makes it possible for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to keep up with the demand of patients who need help due to being immunocompromised.

Sheltering in place can be hard, but it’s the right thing to do to keep others safe. Stock up on your snacks, kick back, and binge-watch your favorite show while you rest easy, knowing you’re doing the right thing to help put an end to Covid-19.

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A Comprehensive Pandemic Survival Kit List

A pandemic occurs when a new viral strain causes a global outbreak of a disease. Sheltering in place orders and social distancing related to COVID-19 are extreme measures but represent now familiar precautions urged by public health officials. You may wonder, “What do I need to shelter in place?” In this article, we’ll discuss items to include in your pandemic survival kit.

What Does Shelter in Place Mean?

Examples of pandemics include H1N1, SARS and the Coronavirus. Sheltering in place orders require preparation because most people haven’t built an immunity to the pandemic. If those sheltering in place have to care for sick family members, they are at a higher risk of getting the disease. Preparation for shelter in place means gathering the food and supplies you need to cook and clean your home. It’s a good idea to ask yourself, “Do I know the rules for shelter in place near me?”

According to Yale University, the shelter in place definition refers mainly to natural disasters. Residents sheltering in place only have to stay put until the authorities give the all-clear after a storm, flood or earthquake, for example. During a pandemic, shelter in place means more comprehensive restrictions based on the timeline of the disease.

What is shelter in place when a disease becomes a pandemic?  During a pandemic, public health officials usually announce what does shelter in place mean for each county, state or region. For instance, if you want to know, “What does shelter in place near me mean?” you can probably find information on the websites of local news stations.

In nature, viral strains mutate between animals all the time. However, most of these viruses don’t threaten people. In the case of pandemics, viruses often mutate several times before producing strains that endanger people. These mutations are somewhat unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to keep pandemic survival gear and supplies in your home at all times.

Because people have no defense against these new viruses, shelter in place means that we have the ability to slow down the spread by avoiding contact with other people. Of course, pandemic safety measures only work if everyone follows the rules.

So, how can you increase your pandemic survival chances? Healthcare facilities have guidelines to create a pandemic preparedness safety plan from the CDC. These are elaborate due to the high risk of exposure. However, it also makes sense to create a plan that makes sense for your own home.

Protecting Against Infection

1. Soap

According to the CDC, you should wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. The official recommendations are here. If you are staying home or wearing gloves when you go out, you do not need to use hand sanitizer. However, it’s a good idea to include it in your pandemic safety kit for when the restrictions are lifted.

Wash your hands thoroughly when you come home from shopping or visiting a medical professional. If you are wondering, Is a shelter in place near me in effect? watch your local news or google a trusted source for the best information available in your area.

2. Disposable Gloves

When you consider, “What do I need to shelter in place?” Include disposable gloves.

The jury is still out on whether to include masks in your pandemic safety kit. However, the University of Massachusetts Amherst recommends wearing them while disinfecting surfaces at your home or business.

You should also wear eye protection and make sure the area is ventilated well before spraying disinfectants on counters and other surfaces. Throw the gloves away after each use and wash your hands right away.

3. Disinfectant

When you are stuck at home, part of the shelter in place definition includes keeping surfaces clean, especially if you are caring for a sick loved one, even if they don’t have the pandemic disease.

Here are the CDC’s recommendations for using disinfectants at home when someone is sick:

You can dilute household bleach to clean counters and doorknobs. Be sure to check the expiration date when you are stocking up to shelter in place.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply the disinfectant effectively in a well-ventilated area. Do not mix household products to avoid dangerous chemical reactions.

Keeping Well

4. First-aid Kit

What does shelter in place mean in terms of first-aid supplies? If you want to avoid going to urgent care, make sure you have bandages, antiseptic, gauze, adhesive tape and other items needed to treat minor wounds and injuries.

Make sure you have a thermometer to monitor the temperature of anyone in your home who falls ill.

John Hopkins has published a comprehensive list of first-aid supplies that can help you in an emergency. The list was recently updated to include items specific to COVID-19.

5. Supply of Prescription and OTC Medicines

What is shelter in place preparation for prescription and over-the-county medicines? Keep in mind that medicines that you may need to get through the pandemic include ibuprofen and other pain medications. Keep cough drops and medications to alleviate flu symptoms on hand for COVID-19 and other diseases with flu-like symptoms.

If you take prescription medication for a chronic condition, try to get a three-month supply so that you don’t have to go out while the pandemic rages on. This includes insulation, heart and blood pressure medication.

If you rely on over-the-counter medications for pain relief, asthma symptoms or anything else, stock up while stores are still open in your area.

6. Humidifier

What do you need to shelter in place? A humidifier might not be the first thing you think of. However, NPR recommends keeping a humidifier on hand to alleviate the symptoms of the coronavirus. Since there’s no cure, anything that can provide relief is a viable addition to your pandemic survival kit.

If someone in the household falls ill, it’s important to minimize the circulation of infected droplets. The shelter in place definition can be extended to include habits that keep the disease from spreading. This includes hygiene basics such as coughing and sneezing into a tissue or inside your T-shirt in an emergency. (This could be less than ideal for larger sneezes.)

Keep air circulating by opening a window or turning on a fan.

So why a humidifier? Increasing the humidity can keep your nose from drying out. You need to keep the protective membranes moist so that they are more effective in filtering out pathogens Mid-range humidity may make some viruses decay faster.

Staying Alive

7. Non-perishable and Shelf-Stable Goods

Collecting food and other essentials needed to survive is one of the most important categories in an effective pandemic preparedness safety plan.

Most public health officials urge residents to stock up on canned goods and frozen foods to get you through the lock-down period. However, what you stock is largely up to the tastes of your family. You should try to collect a variety, although you may not be able to find many choices as supply chains slow down due to pandemic safety measures.

Here are a few guidelines:

  • Remember to include protein sources such as peanut butter, tuna, beans, and other shelf-safe options.
  • Canned soups often have vegetables and meat, but try to opt for low-sodium options.
  • Don’t forget canned fruit to maximize your vitamin and mineral intake.

Make a list to ensure you are spending your money wisely and getting all the items you need.

8. Include Items that Can Keep You Sane

What do you need to shelter in place? The answer may well be different for everyone. However, include “luxury” items you need to stay sane while stuck at home with your spouse, kids, roommates and other members of your household.

Consider decaf or half-caf versions of your favorite coffee, tea, and cocoa. Remember that hot liquids can help break up mucous in the airways and may even flush out some pathogens.

9. Pet Food

What is shelter in place like for your animals? That may depend on how good a job you do at stocking up on supplies for them too.

Along with 30 days of dog, cat and bird food, make sure you have enough supplies to keep your pet comfortable for the duration of the lockdown. This includes cat litter and wee-wee pads for dogs. Remember that you could be forced to stay inside most of the day, so opportunities to walk your dog may be limited.

Consider stocking up treats to help break up the long days at home for your furry buddies.

10. Vitamins

What do you need to shelter in place? Since safeguarding your health is a priority, stock vitamins for the whole family.

If you don’t currently take a multivitamin, a pandemic is a great time to start. Your diet may become less diverse as the pandemic continues. Vitamins help ensure you’re getting the minimum nutrients required for a healthy diet.

What About Water?

What does shelter in place mean? That’s going to be different depending on the circumstances. For instance, even though many worried shoppers have been compelled to hoard bottled water, that’s not a reasonable plan. Most people won’t have to stock up on water in a pandemic, as they would during a natural disaster that compromised the water supply. Municipal water supplies will not be interrupted. However, if you typically use filtered water, it’s a good idea to buy extra filters.

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What’s the Difference Between an Epidemic and a Pandemic?

In the face of what is shaping out to be one of the most dangerous health events of this age – the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic – many people are searching for answers. In particular, a lot of people are wondering about the differences in terms such as epidemic vs pandemic, as well as the implications of the use of these terms for humanity as a whole. Although some form of coronavirus has been around for centuries, the latest outbreak is wreaking havoc and causing everyone to do their best to get informed. The following is a closer look at the meaning of epidemic vs pandemic, as well as the coronavirus and its causes.

Epidemic VS Pandemic

Are you wondering about what is the difference between epidemic and pandemic? The following is a breakdown of these concepts in layman’s terms. In terms of an epidemic vs pandemic, there are a few things to be aware of. First of all, an epidemic is defined as an outbreak of a disease that affects many individuals at once and spreads rapidly. Moreover, an outbreak is defined as a sudden, often unexpected escalation in the number of instances of a disease. An outbreak can occur in a particular community, geographical location, or across a multitude of countries.

On the other hand, a pandemic is a type of epidemic. However, when speaking in terms of a pandemic vs epidemic, the former term is used to describe a disease that affects an entire nation or even the world at large. Therefore, the difference between pandemic and epidemic is that while an epidemic may affect just one or a few areas, a pandemic affects the entire world.

When does an epidemic become a pandemic?

Now that we’ve gone over the difference between pandemic and epidemic, you may now be wondering when does an epidemic become a pandemic. Simply put, an epidemic becomes a pandemic when it has spread over a large geographical location and when it starts to affect a large percentage of the population overall. In other words, the difference in pandemics vs epidemics is that a pandemic is an epidemic that has affected either the vast majority of a country or the world. Pandemics affect a larger number of people, and they are often caused by new viruses or diseases that have not been in circulation for decades or even centuries. Another difference between epidemics vs pandemics is that a pandemic most humans have little to no immunity against the new disease. Pandemics are also known for causing more deaths as opposed to epidemics. Lastly, another major feature in an epidemic vs pandemic is that a pandemic often also results in things such as social disruption and/or economic loss.

What is the coronavirus in humans? 

Another major thing being discussed is the coronavirus, in particular, people are wondering what is coronavirus in humans. The coronavirus is actually a family of illnesses such as the common cold, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), and others. COVID-19 is the latest version of this class of illnesses and is said to have originated in China. The virus itself is known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which ultimately causes the disease known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

What causes coronavirus?

If you are wondering what causes coronavirus, that is a bit of a loaded question. Coronavirus was originally caused by humans coming into contact with infected animals. The original animal that caused the present outbreak remains unknown. However, it is now being passed from human to human. COVID-19 can be spread by coming into contact with bodily fluids. For instance, there are droplets expelled from the body when we cough without covering our mouths. Alternatively, it can also be caused by touching something that was touched by an infected person and then touching your own nose, mouth, or eyes.

What is the incubation period of coronavirus?

Lastly, you may also be wondering what is the incubation period of coronavirus. While this varies from person to person, studies of other illnesses within the coronavirus family suggests the incubation period is between 2 and 14 days.

Although these are trying times for people across the globe, the best thing any of us can do is stay informed. While there is no cure for coronavirus, the best thing you can do to prevent it is to practice social distancing as well as wash your hands regularly. If you believe you have been exposed to coronavirus, contact your doctor via telephone and isolate yourself to reduce the likelihood of spreading it to others.

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What’s the Difference Between a Virus and a Syndrome?

Times of epidemics can lead to panic. The global outbreak of an illness can lead to many questions: What is a virus? What is caused by a virus? What is a syndrome? What is the difference between virus and syndrome? COVID-19, better known as “coronavirus”, has motivated people to take an interest in airborne illness like never before. Below are some of the most common questions pertaining to viruses such as coronavirus.

What is a Virus? What is the Definition of a Virus?

While most people are aware that things such as germs can make them sick, what is a virus that makes it special? A virus is a microscopic living organism that can only thrive in the cells of a host. They can infect all living organisms from animals to plants, as well as microorganisms such as bacteria.

For the more blatant question of what is the definition of a virus, Merriam-Webster offers the simplest answer of the causative agent of an infectious disease.

What is a Viral Infection?

Knowing what a virus is, just what is a viral infection, by comparison? The virus is just the independent living organism while the infection is when a person the virus has found a host in another living organism. The immune system is the only thing to combat a viral infection due to antibiotics only working on bacterial infections.

When an organism is infected, just what is caused by a virus? That depends on the virus, itself, and the strength of the infected person’s immune system. Some viruses max out with a head cold, some viruses can lead to respiratory issues. In healthier patients, the same virus may be mostly uncomfortable though it is fatal in more immunocompromised patients.

What is a Virus Made of? What is a Basic Characteristic of a Virus?

Trying to dissect the issues leads many to wonder what is a virus made of? They consist of a core of RNA or DNA genetic material with a protective coating of protein called a capsid. Capsids occasionally have a spikey protective coat called an envelope.

Knowing what a virus is made of, what is a basic characteristic of a virus? They are acellular, meaning that they do not have cytoplasm or organelles. They do not have a metabolism, and require this of a host’s machinery, which is how they reproduce. While they may have DNA or RNA, they do not have both.

What is a Syndrome? What is the Difference Between Virus and Syndrome?

A common word associated with diseases, but what is a syndrome, exactly? A syndrome is a combination of symptoms that, in tandem with each other, indicate a malady in the body.

A syndrome is a compilation of symptoms pertaining to an illness while a virus is the cause of illnesses and symptoms.

What are Coronavirus Signs and Symptoms?

Specific to the coronavirus, signs and symptoms are usually cough, fever, shortness of breath, and persistent pain or pressure in the chest. These typically present themselves within 2-14 days of exposure to the virus.

COVID-19 may be able to attach to the fur of animals and use them for transportation, but it does not infect them. Coronavirus symptoms in humans are specific to our species as there are no symptoms in animals.

The symptoms of coronavirus are so focused on the breathing that it has been previously treated as just a respiratory infection before the awareness spread. Regarding “what are the symptoms of coronavirus”, they are mainly fever, cough, and extreme difficulty breathing.

What Causes Coronavirus?

What causes coronavirus? What are the causes of coronavirus? As an organism, coronavirus isn’t “caused” by anything in particular. It is, however, an airborne virus, so being exposed to those carrying the virus can make it easy to spread even without contact.

However, COVID 19 is the disease caused by coronavirus that people are experiencing, at the moment.


So, what is a virus? An organism that causes disease in the host body it infects as a means of surviving and reproducing, neither of which it can do on its own. What is a syndrome? A collection of symptoms caused by a particular disease, which may be viral infection, bacterial infection, or even caused by other means. What is the Difference Between Virus and Syndrome? A virus is a cause while a syndrome is a result.

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