Respiratory viruses abound in the winter months. The virus that people usually worry about the most is the influenza virus. This year we are also concerned about the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCov) outbreak. Our goal is to keep our children and yours smiling, healthy, and safe, so we thought it would be a good idea to go over some tips for minimizing the risk of acquiring a respiratory virus.
Plan ahead. It’s a good idea to make contingency plans for what you and your family will do to minimize exposure to a highly infectious respiratory virus.
● Acquire masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and extra food so that you don’t have to head out into public.
● Clean door handles and surfaces.
● Don’t shake hands.
● If you need to cough, do so in your elbow.
● Limit your travel.
● If you are exposed, it is very important to seek medical help.
So what do we know about 2019-nCov? These are the facts.
Coronaviruses are common in many animals. It’s rare for them to infect and spread from animals to people. The 2019-nCov is a betacoronavirus, like MERS and SARS, and has its origin in bats. The recent outbreak of this virus is most likely from an animal resource.
The symptoms of the 2019-nCov include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Not every person infected with the virus will be symptomatic. It ranges from little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and possibly dying. At this time, the CDC believes that symptoms can appear in as little as 2 days to up to 14 days after exposure.
Those most at risk are infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and those who are immunocompromised.
Because we still don’t know much about 2019-nCov, it’s important to be very careful and use preventative actions. These include washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. If people are sick, try to stay at least 6 feet away and avoid contact. If you are sick, please stay home. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, dispose of the tissue, then wash your hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Please be careful! We have cases of the 2019-nCov in the US now. Make sure to stay updated on the latest. The CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus page is the best source of the latest up-to-date information.