What is the difference between seasonal and novel coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses; there are different types of coronaviruses within that family, much like there are different types of influenza viruses. Coronaviruses, in general, are not new. They are quite common and frequently cause respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold. Coronaviruses tend to circulate in the fall and winter months, similar to influenza. Most people are infected with these viruses at some point in their lives.
The coronavirus that has emerged recently in Wuhan, China, is a new type of coronavirus. It is infecting people for the first time, which means people do not have immunity to it.
What are the common symptoms of 2019-nCoV?
Information to date suggests this virus is causing symptoms consistent with a respiratory illness, such as cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
How is 2019-nCoV spread?
At this time, it is unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread is occurring in the Chinese community. Person-to-person spread in the United States has not yet been detected, but it is likely to occur to some extent.
What measures should you take to prevent 2019-nCoV?
There is currently no vaccine available to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
· Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues or your sleeve, not your hands.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
· Wash your hands often for at least twenty seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
· Stay home from class and work if you are sick.
· Avoid people who are sick.
· Get a flu shot – it is not too late to be protected from the flu.
· Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and objects.
The spread of the novel coronavirus is an evolving situation. You can find the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html .
cc: Ms. Tracey Donaldson, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
Dr. Tracy Walsh, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences