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Coronavirus: Tips on how to make your trip to the grocery a safe one

Those cupboards aren't going to stock themselves. Here are some tips to make that grocery shop as safe as possible.

HOUSTON — While many Texans are staying home as much as possible, there is one place most can’t avoid going: the grocery store

However, there are steps shoppers can take to make sure they’re being as safe as possible.

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Dr. Melanie Mouzoon, managing physician for immunization practices at Kelsey-Seybold, provided the following tips for the best way to shop.

1. Keep your distance. Avoid crowded aisles.

2. Since the virus can live on most surfaces for 2 to 3 days, and you don’t know who touched that food item last, be careful not to touch your face while shopping.

3. Use disinfectant wipes to touch cart handles or boxed food items. Mouzoon also recommend using the plastic bags that are provided to pick up food items.

4. Leave the kids at home (let’s be honest: most aren’t good at not touching stuff).  

5. When you get the groceries home, Mouzoon said it’s not a bad idea to Lysol the whole batch, minus the produce. The produce should be thoroughly washed.

6. Try to be organized before you shop and write a list. Do what you can to make the trip as quick as possible.

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7. After you put the groceries away, be sure to wipe down surfaces and wash your hands.

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Follow social distancing

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

 Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.

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