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  • What you need to know about the new Coronavirus

    As the international coronavirus outbreak rapidly evolves, we continue to monitor the situation as well as guidance from trusted sources of clinical information such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). For the latest information, please visit the CDC and/or WHO websites dedicated to this issue.

    What is this new Coronavirus?

    The CDC and WHO are actively monitoring the outbreak of a new virus strain called the “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV” that originated in Wuhan, China. The new virus has infected thousands of people worldwide, causing some deaths. Additional cases have now been reported in the United States.

    The CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to Wuhan, China. Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan, including buses, subways, trains, and the airport. Remain alert if traveling to other parts of China. 

    Human coronaviruses may cause mild to moderate illness in people. Some human coronaviruses have been known to cause more severe illness. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. 

    Human coronaviruses are usually spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing; close personal contact (such as shaking hands); touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; or (rarely) fecal contamination.

    How to protect yourself and others

    Although there are currently no vaccines available to protect against human coronavirus infection, you may be able to reduce your risk of infection by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

    For information about hand washing, see the CDC’s Clean Hands Save Lives website.

    If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home while you are sick; avoiding close contact with other people; 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 cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces.

    If you suspect that a loved one or you have contracted the Coronavirus

    Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. Although there are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses, you can take the following actions to relieve symptoms if you are mildly sick:

    • Take pain and fever medications (caution: do not give aspirin to children).
    • Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough.
    • Drink plenty of liquids.
    • Stay home and rest.

    If you are concerned about your symptoms, please see your local healthcare provider.

    You can find more information on the new Coronavirus at these links:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

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  • 7 things to know about the coronavirus & staying healthy:

    1. Stay home if you're sick. Symptoms of coronavirus include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, according to the Center for Disease Control. Keep your sick children home from school.
    2. Wash your hands. It is not yet known how the novel coronavirus (meaning new strain of coronavirus) spreads. However, medical professionals suggest covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough and washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren't available.
    3. Is there a vaccine for coronavirus? There is no vaccine to protect against the novel coronavirus infection and no specific antiviral treatment as of this report. People infected with the novel coronavirus should first call your doctor and mention you may be at risk to have contracted the virus. A medical professional can help relieve symptoms of the illness.
    4. Where did it come from? Coronavirus is a new virus that can circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats, according to the Center for Disease Control. Still, there is no reason to think that animals or pets may be a source of coronavirus infection in the United States.
    5. How easy is it to catch coronavirus? According to the Center for Disease Control, the risk of being infected by coronavirus is "low" from casual contact. That means, if you are in the same grocery store or a movie theater with an infected person, there is "minimal risk" of getting the infection, yourself.
    6. How is coronavirus transmitted? Coronavirus is transmitted by close contact. If you are living with, visiting, or sharing a waiting room with someone with a novel coronavirus case, or have been coughed on without wearing protective equipment, you face a risk of infection.
    7. What should I do If I think I'm sick? If you have fever AND symptoms of a cough or shortness of breath within two weeks of contact with a person who has been to Wuhan City, China, or has been in close contact with a sick person thought to have coronavirus, call your doctor.

    A spokesperson from the center says this is a "rapidly evolving situation," and the risk assessment may change daily. Always remember to practice good health habits. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, and school! And clean your hands.

    Washing your hands will help protect you from germs.

    Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

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