You may have heard that an outbreak of a new coronavirus has been detected in China and has recently spread to other countries. The coronavirus is part of a large family of viruses that are common in animals, like cows, cats, and bats, and sometimes it infects people. There have been cases in the U.S. in people who have recently traveled to the China but no person-to-person spread has been detected.
Severity of the coronavirus can vary a lot but common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
Right now, healthcare providers caring for patients with the coronavirus can be considered at risk but the risk to the general public with no obvious risk of exposure is considered low.
Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:
It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and the CDC recommends getting vaccinated and taking flu antivirals if prescribed. Other everyday preventative actions you can do to help the response to this public health threat include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- 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.
If you think you or someone you know has the infection or you are traveling outside of the country soon, consider going to the CDC.gov website for more recommendations and other resources. If you have any specific questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact your provider.