What is Coronavirus?
The CDC is actively monitoring and responding to an outbreak of a new coronavirus strain called the “2019 novel coronavirus” or “COVID-19”. It was first detected in China and has now been detected in 70 locations internationally, including in the United States.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. Human coronaviruses are spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing.
How to protect yourself and others:
Although there are currently no vaccines available to protect against human coronavirus infection, you may reduce your risk of infection by:
1. Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
2. Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; and
3. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
4. NOTE: Wearing a mask when you are not sick will not significantly reduce your exposure.
If you have cold-like symptoms with a fever, you can help protect others by:
1. Staying home while you are sick;
2. Avoiding close contact with other people;
3. Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (then throwing the tissue in the trash and washing your hands); and
4. Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has contracted the coronavirus:
Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses today; but you can take the following actions to relieve symptoms:
1. Contact your Primary Care Physician IMMEDIATELY;
2. If you cannot get an immediate appointment, contact your physician and ask about taking pain and fever medications;
3. Ask your pharmacist how they may interact with any medications you currently take. Caution: The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend not giving aspirin to children;
4. Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough;
5. Drink plenty of liquids; and
6. Stay home and rest. Do not return to work until you have been fever or symptom-free for 24 hours.
Current Risk Assessment in the United States (3/3/2020)
The CDC considers the likelihood for exposure to the Coronavirus to be low.