What you need to know about the new coronavirus

What you need to know about the new coronavirus

U.S. and Chinese health officials are investigating the causes of a new coronavirus believed to be behind a recent cluster of respiratory illnesses, including one identified case in Washington state.

But there’s no need to panic.

“This is an evolving process and we’re learning in a rapid fashion what is occurring,” says Dr. Adam Treitman, section head of infectious disease and medical director of infection control at Advocate Christ Medical Center, in Oak Lawn, IL. “There’s certainly no reason to panic, but it’s important to be aware and keep in touch with any updates the CDC brings forward.”

As health officials work to learn more about the virus, Dr. Treitman recommends everyone to take normal precautions for staying healthy such as washing your hands.

The virus has infected 300 people and caused 6 deaths, according to a Jan. 21 report from the CDC.

“Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals including camels, cats and bats,” a news release from the CDC reads. “Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people, such as has been seen with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).”

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  1. What is interesting to note is that EVERYBODY infected with the new Coronavirus is someone who lived Wuhan and became infected, then travel FROM Wuhan elsewhere (within China, or abroad) , or is someone who has traveled TO Wuhan and returned abroad (as the US case).
    The Chinese government should have imposed travel bans (quarantined) citizens from the Wuhan area long ago (so it would “burn out” and not spread) and have better preparation for handling it. (Such as dropping off food so infected people wouldn’t have to shop and infect others.) Articles say many hospitals were not equipped to diagnose much less offer meds and people are angered and scared that they’ll die; the Chinese government (Communist Party) didn’t want to appear confused or weak in the face of the unknown, and lose people trust.

  2. Liaboe, China has shut down public transportation and all non-emergency services.

  3. This article needs to be updated and re-posted!

About the Author

Cassie Richardson
Cassie Richardson

Cassie Richardson, health enews contributor, is regional coordinator on Advocate Aurora Health's Public Affairs team. She has more than 10 years of experience in health care communications, marketing, media and public relations. Cassie is a fan of musical theater and movies. When she’s not spreading the word about health and wellness advancements, she enjoys writing fiction.