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ABC6: Keeping Yourself Safe Against COVID-19

3-11-20 ABC6 7PM Social Distancing Gastaldo

When it comes to protecting yourself and others against COVID-19, it really is the little things that make the biggest difference.

On March 11, Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director, infectious diseases, sat down with ABC6 reporters Terri Sullivan and Adam Slinger to take a deeper dive into how the virus is spread, why it’s different from influenza and what populations are most at risk.

“Sneezes and coughs are no doubt how coronavirus and other respiratory viruses are spread,” said Dr. Gastaldo. “When somebody coughs or sneezes, we say there’s about a five or six-foot radius that their projectiles go to.”

While this may sound pretty similar to the flu, COVID-19 is different in how the symptoms present themselves. Flu symptoms tend to come in abruptly, but COVID-19 symptoms are very mild and usually present with more respiratory distress and shortness of breath.

If you do go out in public anytime soon, Dr. Gastaldo recommends assuming you’re being exposed to any potential respiratory virus and acting accordingly.

“Don’t just assume you’re being exposed to COVID-19, but things like influenza too,” said Dr. Gastaldo. “We still have a lot of influenza activity in the public. But again, approximately 80% of people who have this infection will have very mild symptoms. In fact, most people will not need any medical care at all. We worry about people requiring hospitalization, oxygen and supportive care beginning at the age of 60.”