The new coronavirus has now reached the United States, though you should know the current risk for becoming infected is low. While officials are still learning about this new strain of the virus, check out this basic information and tips to help protect you and your family.
What is coronavirus?
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new respiratory virus. Past coronavirus outbreaks include the MERS outbreak in 2015 as well as the SARS outbreak in 2002.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that come from different types of animals. Sometimes, these animal coronaviruses can infect people and from there can spread person-to-person.
In the case of 2019-nCoV, many initial patients had visited an animal market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Eventually, the number of those infected who had been to the market lessened. This indicates a person-to-person spreading of the virus.
In the United States, far fewer cases of 2019-nCoV have been confirmed by the CDC. Most were found in people who had recently traveled to the affected areas in China.
What are the coronavirus symptoms?
According to the CDC, the symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in two to 14 days after exposure. This is currently based on what we know about the incubation period of MERS viruses.
The symptoms are like those of a common cold or the flu. They include:
- Mild to severe respiratory illness
- Difficulty breathing
How is coronavirus spread?
Like the MERS and SARS outbreaks spread, it is currently thought the coronavirus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. However, this is still being confirmed.
There is currently no vaccine available to help prevent the coronavirus. However, there are ways you can help prevent the spreading of these germs on your own.
Practicing good hygiene
- Wash your hands with soap and water, do this often for at least 20 seconds.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are feeling under the weather.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis.
Monitoring the coronavirus in an important prevention action step you can take. As the CDC learns more about the new coronavirus, stay up to date on new information about the virus. Visit their website to stay informed.
Schedule an appointment with a Bon Secours physician today.