February 6, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
Coronaviruses are common viruses that cause upper respiratory symptoms like throat discomfort, followed by sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing and decreased energy level. There are many different strands of coronaviruses that can cause the common cold and pneumonia. It is a common family of viruses that causes us to be sick!
Currently there is an outbreak of one specific strand of coronavirus called 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It is called this because it is a new strand that has recently been identified. This specific strand of coronavirus has been in the news and is being monitored as an outbreak in China. The 2019 novel coronavirus is a virus that is transmitted from person to person through contact and being close to an infected person who coughs and sneezes.
As of February 5, 2020, the CDC has no reported cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus strand in the state of Missouri, with only 11 total positive cases in the United States. Positive cases have been confirmed in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington. The CDC has stated “for the general American population, who has been unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV is considered low at this time.”
If you feel sick with a cough, fever and/or difficulty breathing and have travelled to China in the past 14 days, or have been in contact with someone who has travelled to China, seek medical care to ensure you do not have 2019 novel coronavirus. The CDC recommends calling the emergency room or your doctor’s office before going in to let them know of your symptoms and recent travel or exposure.
To prevent any virus, including the 2019 novel coronavirus and the flu:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer until soap and water become available.
- Stay home when you are sick to prevent infecting others.
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw that tissue in the trash and immediately wash your hands.
- Avoid close contact with people when you feel sick.
- Clean and disinfect your home, office and other areas you frequent. This includes things like kids’ toys, your computer, your phone and your vehicle.
- To prevent the flu, make sure to get your flu vaccine each flu season. There is not currently a vaccine to help protect against any coronavirus.
The Macon County Health Department will work to keep you informed as this is an on-going health risk. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Macon County Health Department at 660-395-4711 or visit our Facebook page for updates, announcements and education about the 2019 novel coronavirus.