I live in rural Illinois and I’m worried about the coronavirus. What is being done to help get rid of it and could I die from it?

Thanks for sending the question. Lots of other teens have asked the same questions. Our world is going through challenging and uncertain times right now. It’s been over 100 years since our world has gone through a pandemic. It’s totally normal to feel anxious, confused, and/or frustrated about COVID-19 because it’s new to all of us. It’s also super difficult to escape the name since there are warnings all over the TV and social media. However, it’s important to know that although the virus has infected over 3 million people worldwide, researchers, doctors, and nurses are working hard to understand this virus and develop new treatments. Every day we are learning new things! Health professionals are working on trials of medications and transfusions of plasma from people who have already had COVID. Companies are working hard to develop a new vaccine (similar to the flu vaccine) to protect people from the coronavirus. While development of safe and effective vaccines is likely at least a year away from being available, everyone should make sure to get all the their regular immunization so they don’t get measles, mumps, whooping cough and many other illnesses.

Although these are scary and uncertain times, teenagers rarely get serious illnesses from the coronaviruses but they can give it to others when they don’t have any symptoms. So your biggest task is to avoid passing it on to others, especially those with other health problems and those over age 60. If you do get coronavirus, it’s important to rest and drink lots of fluids, just as you would with the flu. Here are some helpful tips to protect yourself and reduce the spread of infection: wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds), use hand sanitizer (if you can’t use soap and water), cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze (use your elbow), don’t touch your mouth, nose, eyes, or face, practice social distancing (leave at least 6ft between you and another person), and wear a mask in public.

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