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Coronavirus is sweeping the news and there is a lot of misinformation out there, so we wanted to bring you everything we know so far about the Coronavirus so far.

What exactly is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.?

Yes. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The current count of cases of COVID-19 in the United States is available on the CDC’s webpage. 

How far spread is the disease?

  • To date there are currently 239 confirmed cases reported in the United States (U.S.).
  • 8 individuals have been confirmed as fully recovered from the virus in the U.S.
  • There have been 14 deaths in the U.S. to date.
    • 12 individuals in King County, Washington (WA) near Seattle.
    • 1 in Snohomish Co, WA. And,
    • 1 in Placer Co, California (CA).
    • There are roughly 100,685 confirmed cases of Coronavirus world-wide with 80,573 of all confirmed cases in China where the outbreak began.  Over 55,753 confirmed cases world-wide have fully recovered from the virus which lessens the total of reported active cases by that number, so nearly half. The total deaths from the virus are currently at 3,411 world-wide.

 Can people in the U.S. get COVID-19?

Yes. COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in parts of the United States. Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example healthcare workers, or household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Learn more about places with ongoing spread on the CDC website

So what does this all mean?

It means that the risk is still relatively low to contract the virus in the United States and it is important to remember that 97-99% of those infected will only see flu like symptoms if they do get the virus.

 It is recommended that you take extra precautions if you are:

  • Age 55 or higher,
  • Have pre-existing health conditions such as: Chronic Respiratory Disease or illness, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension, Autoimmune Conditions or Cancer.

There is an elevated risk for older individuals with these conditions for having serious complications if the virus is contracted.  

What are some things you can do to prevent contracting the virus?

Wash your hands regularly. Doing so can reduce your risk of contracting the virus 30% to 60%, thus regular hand washing is recommended.  Keep hand sanitizer in your car or on your person.  When pumping gas, pushing shopping carts, touching any surface that many others do every day brings risk, even for the regular flu.  Use the hand sanitizer before and after these events, before touching your phone or car keys, face, steering wheel or your doors at home.  Wash your hands several times a day and try not to touch your face, eyes or nose.  These measures will help as the virus affects you by entering your respiratory system and lungs.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses by clicking here.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

 What are severe complications from this virus?

Some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and in some cases death.

How can I help protect myself?

People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth withunwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains atleast 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

 If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw thetissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objectsand surfaces.

What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19?

If you have traveled from an affected area, there may be restrictions on your movements for up to 2 weeks. If you develop symptoms during that period (fever, cough, trouble breathing), seek medical advice. Call the office of your health care provider before you go, and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.

 Is there a vaccine?

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.

 Is there a treatment?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms. For more information: www.cdc.gov/COVID19

What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

 Stay home except to get medical care!

You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.Separate yourself from other people and animals in your homePeople: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. Animals: Do not handle pets or other animals while sick.  Call ahead before visiting your doctor If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a face mask.

You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.Cover your coughs and sneezes Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.

Avoid sharing personal household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.  

 Clean your hands often!

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

 Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

 Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.

 Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department.

Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.

 If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation & returning to work.

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low.  The decision to discontinue home isolation and return to work should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

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