What is 2019 novel coronavirus?
2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus strain, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, that has only spread in people since December 2019. Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus and because it has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.
What is the source of 2019-nCoV?
2019-nCoV likely came from an animal because the first cases were linked to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak. However, more information is needed to figure out the possible role that animals play in transmission of 2019-nCoV.
How does 2019-nCoV spread and what are the symptoms?
The novel coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within 6 feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with these droplets. Symptoms of 2019-nCoV appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. Reported cases have ranged from mild illness (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization.
How can I prevent it?
Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent 2019-nCoV infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends typical infectious disease precautions, just as those used to prevent cold or flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
- Cover coughs/sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
- Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
- Stay home you are ill (except to visit a health care professional) and avoid close contact with others.
- Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The CDC does not routinely recommend the use of face masks by the public to prevent respiratory illness and is not recommending their use at this time for the prevention of 2019-nCoV.
How high is my risk of catching 2019-nCoV?
The CDC considers risk to the general public low.
It is far more likely that Ohioans will contract flu than 2019-nCoV. The CDC estimates that there have been between 10,000 and 25,000 U.S. deaths from flu this season. There have been no confirmed U.S. deaths due to 2019-nCoV. A flu shot is recommended for Ohioans 6-months-old and older who have not yet received one this season; however, the flu vaccine does not protect against 2019-nCoV.
Where have there been cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States?
As of February 3, 2020, the CDC has confirmed 11 cases of 2019-nCoV in the U.S. For a map of states with confirmed 2019-nCoV cases, please visit the CDC website here.
What about Ohio?
There are no confirmed cases in Ohio. Results from testing of two students at Miami University of Ohio in Butler County are negative, meaning they do not have the virus.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), in coordination with the CDC and local partners, is closely monitoring the outbreak caused by 2019-nCoV. ODH has issued a health alert, and Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of ODH, has declared 2019-nCoV a Class A reportable infectious disease, meaning any possible or confirmed case must be reported immediately to a local health district, which will report it to ODH. It will then be reported to the CDC.
ODH, with local health departments and health care providers, actively works 24/7 to monitor, prevent, and control all infectious diseases.
Where have there been confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV globally?
For an updated list of countries reporting confirmed 2019-nCoV cases, please visit the CDC website here.
How is 2019-nCoV treated?
There are no medications specifically approved for 2019-nCoV. Most people with mild coronavirus illnesses will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever medications.
However, some people develop pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.
What if I recently traveled to Wuhan, Hubei Province, China or another outbreak area and got sick?
If you traveled to Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, or another outbreak area and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing you should:
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to the doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and 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.
What if I recently had contact with a person confirmed to have 2019-nCoV and got sick?
If you recently had contact with a person confirmed to have 2019-nCoV and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should follow the same precautions as recommended for people who recently traveled to Wuhan and became ill. (See question immediately above.)
Can I still travel to China or countries where 2019-nCoV cases have occurred?
The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory, recommending against travel to China.
The CDC recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to the country. If you are traveling overseas (to China but also to other places), follow the CDC’s traveler’s health guidance here.
What is happening at U.S. airports?
Details about what to expect at the airport for travelers arriving to the U.S. from China can be found here.
As of Sunday, February 2, 2020, U.S. citizens returning to the U.S. who have been in Hubei Province in the previous two weeks are subject to screening and up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine. U.S. citizens returning to the United States who have been to other parts of mainland China within the previous two weeks are subject to screening and up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine.
Foreign citizens who have been to China in the previous two weeks are being denied entry to the U.S., with the exception of immediate family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
The United States plans to send all flights from China to 11 airports, none in Ohio.