News of coronavirus continues to spread as people work to protect themselves against the disease. Everyone seems to be stockpiling masks, sanitizers and Lysol sprays. Let’s look at what you really need to keep yourself safe from the virus.

According to the World Health Organization, coronavirus can be spread to people of all ages, in all climates. As of now, no vaccine exists for COVID-19. To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recommended canceling events with more than 50 people for the next 8 weeks and that people around the country practice social distancing by avoiding crowded areas and staying in their homes.

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Does a face mask help against coronavirus? Erin Sorrell, a Center for Global Health Science and Security member and assistant research professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University, told BuzzFeed News about masks, saying, “The fact is, your typical surgical mask is not going to protect or prevent infection. If you’re healthy and not infected, don’t bother with a mask. The virus itself is so small that it can penetrate the mask. So it literally does nothing for you, ” Sorrell said. You should only wear a mask if you’re sick at home and infected with the virus.

Hand sanitizers help prevent the spread of germs by keeping your hands clean. Johns Hopkins recommends hand washing as the best method for cleaning hands to prevent infection. It’s good practice to keep your hands clean with hand sanitizer, but washing them is most effective.

Coronavirus can stay on surfaces for a few hours or several days, depending on multiple factors. Preliminary studies show that the virus is less frequently caught from soft items like clothing, and more likely to be transferred from frequently touched hard surfaces. The virus cannot be transferred to or from pets.

The CDC recommends you disinfect “high touch” surfaces with EPA-approved disinfectants. They recommend you,“Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks).”

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Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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Catch up on our coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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