Supplies fly off local shelves amid coronavirus fears

Coronavirus Empty Shelves 5
Supplies fly off shelves of local stores amid coronavirus fears. Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. – As Washington declares a state of emergency over the spread of coronavirus, local people have started stocking up on supplies.

Several Spokane stores are running out or have limited supplies of sanitizing wipes, face masks, hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol.

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WinCo Foods in North Spokane has limited hand sanitizer sales, offering just two bottles per family. Their stock of Lysol and Clorox wipes has diminished, too.

The South Hill Super 1 has issued a message to customers about a national shortage of face masks, saying production is unable to keep up and the store will be out of stock for the foreseeable future.

The shortage comes as the U.S. Surgeon General begs the public to stop buying masks. In a tweet, Dr. Jerome Adams said the masks are not effective in preventing the public from catching coronavirus and instead limits the supplies for healthcare providers who need them to care for sick patients.

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Over the weekend, two men died from coronavirus in western Washington, bringing the total to 13 confirmed cases across the state.

There have been no confirmed cases in people from the Spokane area, nor in Idaho. Four people from other parts of the country were treated for coronavirus at Spokane’s Sacred Heart Hospital, as its special pathogens unit serves as a regional treatment center. Two of those four patients have already been discharged.

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People suffering from coronavirus will usually have symptoms similar to a common cold, including a runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache and fever. It can also cause a shortness of breath.

How it spreads:

The virus is spread from person to person through coughs, sneezes and handshakes.

How to prevent its spread:

There is currently no available vaccine to protect against the coronavirus. The U.S. National Institutes of Health is working on a vaccine, but it will be in clinical trials for months before it is available to the public.

In the meantime, people are encouraged to cover their mouths and nose when coughing or sneezing. Disinfecting objects and surfaces is also helpful in the prevention of it spreading.

Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.