Coronavirus​ Facts from the PA DEPT. of Health

Coronavirus​

What is coronavirus?

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Symptoms of human coronaviruses are often like the common cold:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • A general feeling of not being well.

Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.

How can the Coronavirus spread?

Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold:

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it;
  • Occasionally, fecal contamination.

How can I help protect myself?

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.

What can travelers do to protect themselves and others from coronavirus?

CDC recommends that travelers avoid non-essential travel to Hubei Province, China, including Wuhan. Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of many cities in Hubei Province, including buses, subways, trains, and the airport. There is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas. Remain alert if traveling to other parts of China by practicing the precautions below.

Travelers to China should:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Discuss travel to China with their healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

If you traveled to China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Should I go to work or school if I traveled to China but am not sick?

Yes, you can go to work or school if you are not experiencing symptoms of illness.