Coronavirus hits US and the news

What you need to know

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a novel coronavirus (nCoV) that was first identified in Wuhan, China, has now reached the United States. This also comes on the heels of the CDC’s announcement that it is increasing screenings for the illness on all inbound flights from Wuhan, China, to the U.S. at five airports.

“Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe infections such as pneumonia,” said Paul S. Schulz, M.D., infectious diseases physician with Norton Infectious Disease Specialists and system epidemiologist for Norton Healthcare. “Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC are working together to contain the virus while also keeping the public informed.”

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, are both viral respiratory illnesses caused by coronavirus.

“Treatment of the coronavirus is similar to that of a cold or pneumonia and is determined by the severity of the individual’s illness,” Dr. Schulz said.

Common signs of someone infected with coronavirus include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.

More information you need to know:

  • Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s unclear how easily the virus spreads between people.
  • Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease from this virus.
  • Travelers to Wuhan, China, should avoid contact with sick people, animals (alive or dead) and animal markets.
  • Travelers from Wuhan and other countries may be asked questions about their health and travel history upon arrival to the United States.

For more information on the 2019 novel coronavirus, visit the CDC coronavirus page.

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