You’ve undoubtedly have heard about a new Coronavirus going around, which can cause severe illness and in some cases, death.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, including common strains that cause colds and more concerning strains, such as MERS or SARS. This virus, which broke out in Wuhan City, China, has recently infected several Americans.
The CDC has advised against travel to Wuhan. If you or a close contact have traveled to Wuhan recently, you may be at risk for infection. Symptoms begin 2–14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. You can be tested for the new Coronavirus by contacting your local or state health department.
Young children, pregnant women, and elderly patients—along with those with lung conditions or weakened immune system—are at higher risk of complications from all respiratory infections, including the common cold, the flu, and Coronavirus.
The best methods to stop the spread of any viral infection, including the Coronavirus is to follow these four steps:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands with soap and water thorougly and regularly, and/or use hand sanitizer when needed.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
To learn more about the Coronavirus, listen to this recent Daily podcast from the New York Times.