The Coronavirus has been all over the news headlines, causing many people to wonder if they need to be worried about this fast-moving respiratory illness. Today we’re breaking down the facts about Coronavirus to help you learn more about this virus and what you can do to prevent infection.
What is Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus is actually a family of viruses, with various forms that can infect both animals and humans. Sometimes, the virus only infects animals, then evolves to impact humans as well – which is what happened with the latest type of Coronavirus. The current outbreak is known as Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) and is a viral-based illness discovered recently in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The doctors discovered this strain in late 2019. Previous Coronavirus outbreaks have occurred in the past, known as MERS and SARS.
What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is like the common cold, causing upper respiratory symptoms such as coughing, fever, and breathing problems. Just because you have these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have Coronavirus. Viral illnesses can cause similar symptoms, so it is possible that you might have another type of common cold. If you have not visited China in the recent 2 weeks, or been exposed to someone who has visited China recently, it is unlikely that you have Coronavirus.
Does Coronavirus Cause Serious Illness?
Like other viral illnesses, the severity of Coronavirus can vary from one person to the next. Reported illnesses range between mild symptoms to serious symptoms that require hospitalization. Deaths have occurred from this virus.
Do I Need to Visit a Doctor?
If you have the above symptoms, then the best solution is to visit a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. You can visit the nearest urgent care for immediate medical services. If you are near Frisco or Fort Worth, Texas, visit iCare and speak with our board-certified medical team. When talking to your doctor, share full information about your symptoms, as well as recent travel history or contact with travelers.
What is the Treatment for Coronavirus?
At this point, there is no specific treatment for Coronavirus. Doctors are still learning more about the virus, including how quickly it spreads, how long it takes before symptoms are present, and how to treat the illness. For now, treatment is based on the condition of the patient, with treatments focused on symptom management.
Is There a Vaccination to Prevent Against Coronavirus?
There is no current vaccination for the Coronavirus. Since the virus is newly discovered, it takes time to develop a vaccination to protect against the illness. Additional information will be provided at a later date if vaccinations are developed and available.
How Is the Coronavirus Spread?
The most common way for the Coronavirus to be passed is through person-to-person contact. If one person is infected, the virus can be spread in several ways:
- Air: If someone with the virus sneezes or coughs, it can spread tiny droplets into the air, which are then breathed in by other people in proximity.
- Personal Contact: Person-to-person contact can spread the Coronavirus, such as caring for someone else with the virus.
- Surface Contact: The virus can also be contracted by touching an object or surface that was touched by a person with the infection. For example, it is possible to contract the virus if you open a door handle previously touched by someone with the virus, then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes.
How Can I Prevent Coronavirus?
The prevention of Coronavirus is similar to the steps for preventing other types of illnesses, such as the flu or common cold. Recommendations include:
- Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water. Scrub for a minimum of 20 seconds. Hands should be washed before touching your mouth and eating. Also, wash your hands after using the restroom, sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
- If you don’t have immediate access to soap and water, then alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used. Wash your hands when soap and water are available again.
- Minimize contact with other people who have symptoms. If someone is sick, avoid close contact such as sharing food or kissing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you need to touch your face, wash your hands first.
- Sanitize surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, such as door handles, tabletops, etc. disinfecting wipes or household cleaning spray can be used.
- Consider wearing a face mask in public areas with many people, such as airports and train stations.
Should I Worry About Coronavirus?
Most people don’t need to worry about a Coronavirus infection. The highest risk of infection is in China. Watch for symptoms if you have recently traveled to China, or come in contact with someone who has visited the area and is exhibiting symptoms.
Should I Cancel My Trip to China Because of the Risk of Coronavirus?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an advisory about traveling to China. Read through this information to see how the US is actively monitoring and preventing the spread of the disease. Additionally, it can be helpful to talk to your doctor about your personal medical history and travel plans.
The recommendation as of February 10th, 2020, is that all nonessential travel to China should be avoided. You can watch the updates on the CDC’s page: Traveler’s Health Destinations to find up-to-date recommendations.
It is important to note that just because the virus originated in China, doesn’t mean that you should assume that every person of Asian descent has this virus.
What are the Travel Restrictions for American Citizens Coming from China?
New travel procedures are being followed to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the US. American citizens and lawful permanent residents coming to the United States after being in China within the past 14 days will be redirected to visit one of 11 airports designated for screenings. You will need to go through an airport health screening that includes a conversation about your travel itinerary and health, as well as a short screening to look for associated symptoms: cough, fever, or trouble breathing.
Personal Health Recommendations from a Trusted Urgent Care
If you have symptoms similar to the Coronavirus, or you would like to talk to a doctor about any other health concerns, our team at iCare ER and Urgent Care is here to provide the support that you need. We offer both emergency services and urgent care support in the same office. You can visit with our board-certified team at one of our convenient offices in Frisco or Fort Worth. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can take a moment to reserve your appointment with our quick online sign-in.