Over the span of the last few months, there has been an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus which can be spread from person to person. Certain measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of contracting the illness. Due to the large number of cases of illness including rising deaths resulting from the virus, it is important to stay informed. Details are still developing and no vaccine is currently available. In order to keep the virus contained, a travel ban has been issued for many countries (NOTE: The Department of State has restrictions posted on their site as well. Before traveling, be sure to get the latest on the region you plan to visit).
As of February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a name (COVID-19) for the coronavirus that originated from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. It is important to remember to use standard hygiene practices to avoid this and any other respiratory illnesses (such as seasonal influenza which is typical this time of year in US communities). UPDATE: As the situation evolves daily, the best source of information is the WHO daily situation report that maintains data on the current number of confirmed cases by country.
CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel to China. If you must travel:
The CDC recommends the following in order to prevent COVID19 and other viral infections:
There are several types of facemasks on the market today. There is a distinct difference, however, between what is commonly known as a “surgical mask” and an N95 respirator:
The CDC website has a wealth of information to remain up-to-date on what you should know. Remember not to make any determinations of risk based on race or country of origin. Confidentiality of people with any health issue including COVID-19 should be maintained. As we know more about transmissibility, severity, and other features of COVID-19, we will do our best to update you. Please visit the dedicated CDC page for updated information.These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.