What You Should Know About the New Coronavirus
A new coronavirus is in the news, and it’s worth knowing the signs and symptoms, especially if you travel internationally.
This new type of coronavirus was first identified in the city of Wuhan, China. It is transmitted from animals and between humans.
The symptoms of this coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. While we are still learning more about this new virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that symptoms may appear as early as two days after exposure or as long as 14 days after exposure.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent this new coronavirus. As a result, it is important that we take steps to stay healthy.
Since the symptoms of this coronavirus overlap with symptoms of the flu, Dr. Alina Filozov, Middlesex Health’s chief of infectious disease, says that everyone should get their flu shot. It is not too late to do so!
Dr. Filozov also says it is important to:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- 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 and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and services
If you have to travel to China, you should avoid contact with sick people; avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets and products that came from animals, such as uncooked meat. Wash your hands frequently using water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
It is important to note that the coronavirus has spread to several countries, including the United States.
Middlesex Health’s three Emergency Department locations are prepared to evaluate patients who experience symptoms similar to the coronavirus. It has measures in place to quickly identify anyone at risk.
If possible, it is important that you talk to your primary care physician before heading to an emergency department, unless your symptoms are severe; you have a respiratory illness and have traveled to China in the past 30 days; or you have been in contact with a patient diagnosed with or exposed to the coronavirus.
For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, please visit the CDC’s website.
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