At Georgia Highlands Medical Services, we’ve put extra precautions in place for you. Whether you have an appointment or need to visit us for urgent sick care, we’re working hard to keep your family safe.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that commonly affect animals but sometimes affect humans too. They usually attack the upper respiratory tract—nose, sinuses and throat. A coronavirus gets its name from the crown-like spikes on its surface, visible under a microscope (“corona” means crown in Latin). Some types of coronavirus cause mild symptoms like the common cold, while others, like SARS or MERS, are more dangerous.
Scientists are still learning about this new coronavirus that causes a disease known as COVID-19. COVID-19 is also called the “novel” coronavirus because this particular strain has never been seen before.
Like a cold or the flu, COVID-19 usually spreads from close person-to-person contact—about 6 feet—through large respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes. Smaller droplets may linger in the air for some time in confined spaces and also spread COVID-19. The virus may also spread when droplets land on surfaces that people touch.
The best way to avoid infection is to avoid exposure. It is always a good idea to keep your guard up and not just against this virus. Here are other simple steps you can take to lower your risk of catching or spreading illness:
Social distancing is a practice to help stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease like COVID-19. It is a way to deliberately increase the physical space between people to help avoid spreading illness, as staying at least 6 feet away from others can help lessen your chance of catching the virus.
Other examples of social distancing may include:
mRNA vaccines have been developed using technology that has been around for almost 20 years. Scientists have tried to use the technology to make vaccines against a number of infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines mimic an infection in our bodies that makes them make an immune response—not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if we are exposed to the real or “wild-type” virus. mRNA vaccines do not affect or interact with our own DNA. The message from mRNA vaccines is short-lived and disappears after our immune system responds. Read more on the CDC website.