The CDC is monitoring a new virus showing up in China with first cases now identified in Washington State. We need to be aware of this virus possibly spreading - even to our local communities. Our region has already sent out advisories to keep all pre-hospital providers, who might see this virus first hand in the community, aware.
Symptoms of 2019-nCoV are mainly lower respiratory, similar to pneumonia. Fever and cough are also seen and in more severe cases, respiratory distress has been seen.
The CDC is already implementing healthy traveler checks for incoming passengers at several major airports across the country and we can continue to help by maintaining excellent infection control techniques everywhere. Wash your hands, cover your mouth when coughing, stay home when sick and practice good disinfection methods can help keep you healthy.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals including camels, cats and bats. 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). When person-to-person spread has occurred with SARS and MERS, it is thought to happen via respiratory droplets with close contacts, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. The situation with regard to 2019-nCoV is still unclear. While severe illness, including illness resulting in several deaths, has been reported in China, other patients have had milder illness and been discharged.
For more information and up to date news on this virus, visit www.cdc.gov/media/index.html