If you’re like us, you can barely go an hour without receiving an email or seeing a social media post related to the 2019-nCoV infection, a new strain of coronavirus that is responsible for a “deadly outbreak” in China that has spread across the globe. Images of people wearing masks in New York City or news about travel restrictions to China have likely flooded your digital inbox. But what do you need to know? Are you at risk?
What we know
- More than 1,000 people have died from the virus in China.
- More than 45,000 people have been infected worldwide.
- There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Jersey or the tristate area as of this writing. There have been several suspected cases, but they have all tested negative.
- There have been 13 confirmed cases in the United States – Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington State and Wisconsin.
What is coronavirus?
2019-nCoV is a respiratory illness that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, in China. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many of the original patients in Wuhan, China, had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. More recent patients reported not having a direct connection to animal markets, suggesting person-to-person spread.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of the coronavirus mimic those found in pneumonia or the flu. You may experience:
- Shortness of breath
The CDC said symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
What to do if you think you or your child has it
If you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus, see your health care professional immediately. See the CDC fact sheet on coronavirus.
How to prevent being exposed
While there is no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus, the CDC recommends the following tips:
- 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.