The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has discussed the likelihood of local person-to-person transmission of the novel coronavirus, a flu-like respiratory illness with symptoms that can include fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
It is important to be prepared, but not respond to fear.
Coronavirus is most often spread person-to-person by respiratory droplets, such as through coughing or sneezing. To avoid contracting or spreading the virus, general flu prevention measures are recommended:
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve (not your hands)
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or with a hand sanitizer such as Purell
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you’re feeling sick. Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms, travel history, and if you’ve had contact with people who are sick.
Current recommendations include 14-day home self-monitoring for people who have traveled to areas designated by the CDC, such as China and South Korea. It is advised to avoid non-essential travel to those regions, as well as to Iran, Italy, and Japan. While it is not known whether an outbreak in the US will be mild or severe, it is advisable to store a two-week supply of water and food, as well as over-the-counter medications you tend to take.
For more information, visit your state’s Department of Health website or the CDC website.