You have likely seen the news about coronavirus and China. We want to reassure our patients about this because we have been receiving a lot of calls with questions regarding this issue.
2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus very recently, and this new strain has now been found in thousands of patients in China. Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States. There are ongoing investigations to learn more.
In the United States
The fact that this virus has caused severe illness and has spread from person-to-person in China is concerning, but it’s unclear how the situation in the United States will unfold at this time. Imported cases of 2019-nCoV infection in people have been detected in the U.S., but at this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States. To see a map of where these infections have been confirmed in the United States, click here (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html).
It’s important to note that “person-to-person spread” is different for different viruses. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are much less contagious and thus harder to spread. While the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is deemed to be low at this time.
For confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people being mildly sick to people being severely ill and dying. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
Keep in mind that these same symptoms can be caused by many other illnesses and do not necessarily indicate you have coronavirus.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Try not to cough into your hands.
- 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.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover without treatment. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms:
- 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.
- If you are mildly sick: drink plenty of liquids, stay home, and rest.
For the latest information on this developing issue, we recommend you check out the CDC or Utah Department of Health’s websites.
Utah Department of Health – https://health.utah.gov/coronavirus
If you have recently traveled to China or are concerned you may be infected; please call one of our offices to schedule an appointment with one of our providers. When you make an appointment, let us know you have been in China so that when you arrive we can get you back to a private exam room as quickly as possible. For details on locations and contact information visit www.CanyonViewMedical.com.