With news of local cases of coronavirus in the US, it’s natural to worry about the virus spreading. Should we be concerned about coronavirus in the US? What’s the likelihood of the virus spreading? While it is too late to prevent an outbreak in China, what can we do to lower our risk of infection?
How to Prevent an Outbreak in the US
Coronavirus has already made it into the US. Our job now is to prevent a local outbreak or epidemic. The Mayo Clinic suggests that anyone presenting atypical pneumonia-like symptoms should go to their doctor to be evaluated, even if they haven’t been to China. People can unknowingly catch the virus when exposed to germs or body fluids from someone with the illness. Getting tested early can prevent small outbreaks that can ultimately turn into large outbreaks.
People catch the virus from respiratory droplets, touching a contaminated surface and then touching their face. So exercising proper prevention practices (much like those for the flu and strep throat) such as handwashing, social distancing, and wearing face masks can help control the virus from spreading.
What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?
The risk is low for catching coronavirus in the US, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. The CDC is urging people to see a doctor if they show any of the following symptoms. Symptoms are similar to pneumonia. Health authorities will determine whether a test for the virus, known as 2019-nCoV, is necessary.
- Fever (100.4 or more) and respiratory problems (coughing and/or shortness of breath) within two weeks of having traveled to China.
- Fever and respiratory problems after having “close contact” with someone who has recently been to China.
- Kidney failure — severe cases of coronavirus infection may result in kidney failure.
When in doubt, get checked out!
For 24-7 emergency care in Galveston by board-certified ER doctors, walk into Hospitality Health ER on Seawall Blvd.