Public health crises and outbreaks tend to get a lot of attention on social media, public forums, and within the healthcare communities across the country. However, the novel developments related to the new Wuhan cornoavirus has seen unprecedented response from across the world.
To briefly remind you: A new cornoavirus that spread from person-to-person contact within a live animal market where the virus was able to grow, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) summaries. The CDC also explains that the virus quickly spread from residents of Wuhan to international travelers that have brought the virus back to countries including the United Kingdom and the United States.
Continuous reports of the impact of the coronavirus has rightfully sparked significant fear and caution from global organizations. The latest statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that nearly 637 people have died in China from the virus as 3000 individuals may have been exposed to the virus. Estimates continue to show that the death tool and spread of the disease is likely to keep growing.
But residents of the United States need to keep in mind that the coronavirus is not likely to impact their communities as aggressively as in Wuhan. Even though there are reported U.S cases, public health officials implemented safeguards and protocols to effectively quarantine travelers. It is critical to avoid the spread of medical misinformation.
At AFC Urgent Care Denver, our provider organizations are committed to ensuring that our neighbors and patients receive accurate and reliable information about the cornoavirus and what they should know. Keeping up with reliable updates is the key to staying safe during a public health emergency such as this one:
What is coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a type of virus that infects a patient’s upper respiratory system. The CDC and WHO strain detected in Wuhan, China as “2019-nCoV.” According to the CDC, coronaviruses are “a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS, SARS, and now with 2019-nCoV.”
nCoV-2019 is especially dangerous because it is a rare circumstance whenever an animal-based virus is able to spread between people so rapidly. Most coronaviruses are treatable with over-the-counter medications or urgent care treatment. A child with an ear infection, or a patient with a lingering cough, could have an infection from a general cornoavirus.
However, nCoV-2019 is especially dangerous and leads to significant respiratory damage; making it difficult to breathe and maintain consciousness. Any patient exposed to nCoV-2019 requires immediate emergency care at an ER.
Be careful of myths and misinformation related to coronaviruses. WHO has a detailed lists of myths about the coronavirus and other types of misleading treatments.
Has it spread in the United States?
The latest strain of Cornoavirus was detected in international travelers coming from China the United States. However, the virus has been effectively quarantined by government officials and state departments across the country.
As the CDC explains, “imported cases of 2019-nCoV infection in travelers have been detected in the U.S. Person-to-person spread of 2019-nCoV also has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan, but at this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.” Additionally, the U.S government and health officials have implemented crisis action plans in the event that the virus spreads outside of quarantine zones.
Even though some travelers have been in areas where the coronavirus has spread, it does not mean that it will spread into your town or community. Other reports have found that U.S travelers have been exposed to coronavirus on cruise ships and are being quarantined by proper international agencies.
What should I do if I have traveled to an area exposed to coronavirus?
If you have traveled to any part of China or elsewhere that has been exposed to coronavirus, then you’re likely to be quarantined until health officials can determine that you either have or don’t have the virus.
Special quarantine zones across the United States help facilitate individuals that have traveled to potential regions of nCoV outbreaks. Any traveler that can freely pass through customs from international travel is not at risk for quarantine or the virus?
How can I keep up-to-date?
There are going to be many updates about the virus that may confuse patients. Make sure you filter out misinformation for primary sources in order to keep up with latest news about the coronavirus:
- Follow the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization for immediate updates
- Large news organizations are monitoring the disease and can provide updates for patients
- Make sure you also look into state-level and local news outlets to see if any risks related to the coronavirus to stay aware