The New Coronavirus: What You Need to Know
You may have heard about coronavirus on the news. Coronaviruses can cause a viral infection that affects the respiratory (breathing) system.
A new strain of coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, China, has been confirmed in the United States. Other strains of coronavirus include MERS and SARS.
Here are some important things you should know:
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms for coronavirus can include:
- Shortness of breath.
- Repeated shaking with chills.
- Muscle pain.
- Sore throat.
- New loss of taste or smell.
It’s important to note these symptoms can also occur with other viral upper respiratory infections, like the flu.
How do coronaviruses spread?
Coronaviruses can live in the air and on surfaces. That means they can spread like many other viruses, like the flu. Sneezing, coughing, and personal contact with an infected person can put you at risk.
What can I do to help prevent coronavirus disease?
As of now, there are no vaccines for coronaviruses. But there are other things you can do to help prevent illness:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water.
- Disinfect surfaces in your home and workplace.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your face with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
- Keep your distance from people who are sick.
What should I do if I think I’m getting sick?
If you think you are getting sick, call your primary care provider. He or she can help determine what condition you have and the best way to get better. In the case of an emergency, call 911.
Where can I get more information?
Source: "Coronavirus Infections," MedlinePlus, https://medlineplus.gov/coronavirusinfections.html.