The coronavirus has killed at least 80 people and infected nearly 3,000 around the world.
The coronavirus was originally discovered in China and has continued to spread. The respiratory virus causes pneumonia and is spread through direct contact with someone that is infected.
The range of symptoms include anything from a runny nose, cough, sore throat, and fever.
The five confirmed cases that have been reported are in California, Arizona, Illinois, and Washington. There have been at least over 60 potential cases that are under investigation in over 20 states, and 11 were confirmed negative.
A local Sanford Health doctor says not to be worried but to make sure you take the right precautions.
Sanford Health Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Supha Arthurs says, “We should be vigilant but not be worried about it. There are protocols that the CDC put out to screen for people that are traveling from Wuhan back to the US, so they will be channeled to certain airports so they will be appropriately screened.”
However, due to the busy travel season, the U.S. is taking this outbreak seriously. Passengers traveling from China are being screened and sent to major airports which include New York’s JFK airport, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, but if you have any symptoms it’s important to call ahead.
“Anyone that is traveling from that area should know they should seek medical attention if they become ill because they might not have a fever during that time,” says Dr. Arthurs. “They are going to get a questionnaire before they leave the airport that they have to seek medical attention if there are this and this symptom happening especially after the 2 weeks they leave the area.”
According to the CDC these are the best ways for prevention:
- Wash your hands often 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, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
For now, the World Health Organization decided NOT to declare the outbreak a global emergency.
Authorities in Wuhan, China said Friday they were constructing a 1,000-bed hospital to help with the outbreak.