It is now a global recommendation that all individuals are advised to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. General recommendations include:
- Home isolation and/or avoidance of public/crowded areas whenever possible to minimize the chance for exposure
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inner elbow
- Wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
- Maintain 1–2 m (~3–6 ft) distance from other people, “social distancing”
- Regular cleaning of all ‘high-touch’ surfaces within the home
The use of face masks is now recommended for the general population.
- Face masks help prevent the wearer from becoming infected and, more importantly, prevent the wearer from transmitting the disease (also known as “source control”).
- Face masks and personal protective equipment, or PPE, are of special importance for healthcare personnel due to higher exposure to infected individuals as well as aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) . AGPs include the following:
- Open suctioning of airways
- Sputum induction
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Endotracheal intubation and extubation
- Non-invasive ventilation (e.g., BiPAP, CPAP)
- Manual ventilation
Isolation and quarantine can be discontinued only after the following criteria has been met:
- For hospitalized patients: negative results of PCR testing from at least 2 consecutive sets of paired nasopharyngeal and throat swab specimens collected ≥ 24 hours apart (total of 4 specimens: 2 nasopharyngeal and 2 throat)
For at-home patients: negative results of PCR testing from at least 2 consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected ≥ 24 hours apart OR
- At least 3 days have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of antipyretics and improvement in respiratory symptoms AND
- At least 7 days have passed since the onset of symptoms
There is no FDA-approved vaccine yet available to prevent COVID-19. A Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine began on March 16, 2020 , in the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle, WA, USA. The vaccine is called mRNA-1273, and is designed to encode for a prefusion-stabilized form of the S protein. The trial will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers aged 18 to 55 years over approximately 6 weeks.