Coronavirus outbreak: Health expert shares tips for preparedness, emergency supply list to stay healthy

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As of Wednesday afternoon, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 81,000 people in at least 42 countries, including the US.

There is no treatment or vaccine.

"The citizens of San Francisco, they're going to have to prepare as well, and a big part of it is understanding how to prevent the transmission of viruses between people," said Dr. Tomas Aragon, a San Francisco public health officer and epidemiologist.

Dr. Aragon says people can prepare for a coronavirus outbreak now by:

  • Planning childcare for potential school closures

  • Creating contingency plans if you can't get to work

  • Thinking about how you might care for a sick family member or yourself


"Let's say you are a contact to a confirmed case, you will be quarantined for two weeks. Do you have everything you need for two weeks? Who's going to bring you food? Do you have your medicines?"

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The CDC gives 7 tips on how your family can prepare for a coronavirus outbreak near you.



If you feel compelled to go to the store to load up on supplies for coronavirus, Dr. Aragon recommends hand sanitizer, Purell, or whatever brand the store carries.

The item has clearly been popular in recent days, as there were a lot of empty hand sanitizer shelves at a San Francisco Walgreens Wednesday.

Dr. Aragon also recommends heading to the cleaning aisle and picking up hand sanitizing wipes and spray. He says anything that says it kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, is a good product for fending off coronavirus and other infectious diseases floating around during flu season.

Dr. Aragon says not to worry about buying masks, since they're sold out at most stores anyway and really need to be reserved for health care workers. He says healthy people do not need to wear masks, but if you are sick and have a mask, it's okay to wear to try and prevent the spread of your illness.

Hand washing seems basic because it is! But Dr. Aragon says it is a vitally important hygiene practice right now. He says to spend 20 seconds thoroughly washing hands with soap and water multiple times per day.



See more stories related to coronavirus here.

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