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Coronavirus: What You Should Know

With many gamers and cosplayers attending conventions, here are some facts and recommendations about the virus.

Texas Health & Human Services

Coronavirus is on the minds of everyone, especially those making plans to attend conventions and festivals during the next few weeks. You may be debating whether to cancel plans to attend your go-to's this season.

Some are making the decision for you: Game Developers Conference was postponed following pullouts from Sony and Microsoft, among others. The conference has been pushed back to at least the summer.

Others are taking precautionary measures including increased venue sanitation and the use of hand sanitizer kiosks before, during and after conventions. Leaders of the SXSW multimedia conference in Austin are determined to push forward with this month's proceedings, despite more than 26,000 petitioning for its cancellation.

So what do you really need to know? Here are some pointers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

There is currently no vaccine to treat or prevent infection. Despite a recent Twitter post that gained traction Monday, (the author of which later acknowledged was poorly written), the CDC says that while washing hands is the number-one way to lower your risk, any solution with at least 60% alcohol - hand sanitizer included - is good for a backup method.

In addition, the center advises that face masks of any sort, including those sold at pharmacies nationwide, are ineffective and will not prevent the virus from entering your system.

Other steps to take -

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

It's not a bad idea to proactively stay hydrated and take vitamin C supplements, as is suggested for those battling everyday con crash/con crud, etc.

Travel to China, Italy and other heavily-affected regions is currently discouraged, and some US companies are even barring their staff from domestic air and rail travel. Several travel carriers are waiving itinerary change and cancellation fees during this period of uncertainty.

Above all else, use common sense.

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