A new virus, officially named 2019-nCoV but commonly known as novel coronavirus, has been making headlines around the world. At the current time there are NO confirmed cases in our area. There are currently 5 confirmed cases in the US. (Washington State, Arizona, Illinois and 2 in California)
What Are Coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Several known coronaviruses infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. However, at least two previously identified coronaviruses have caused severe disease — severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.
How Are New Coronaviruses Transmitted?
Some coronaviruses can cause illness in people and others circulate among animals. Rarely, viruses that infect animals can mutate to infect people. Eventually, those viruses evolve to be able to spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred with 2019-nCoV. Initially, the virus was linked to a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China, suggesting animal-to-human transmission. Now, however, there is evidence of person-to-person transmission.
What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of infection include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The severity of symptoms ranges from mild to severe.
How Can You Prevent Coronavirus?
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. There is currently no vaccine for 2019-nCoV. The CDC recommends that people avoid all non-essential travel to Wuhan. Additionally, everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your face 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.
What Should a Person Experiencing Symptoms Do?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if you have been in Wuhan City, China in the last two weeks and show symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, you should:
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
If any staff or students recently visited China or are planning on visiting China, please inform your nursing department.
Contact information for the nursing departments can be found at https://www.aptsinc.org/nursing/ or by clicking HERE.
For more information :https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Jennifer Benzel, RN
APTS Nurse Manager