2019 Novel Coronavirus
Updated: January 31, 2020 at 3:00 PM
This is a rapidly changing situation and information will be updated as it becomes available. Additional information and updates can be found by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH); links are provided below. The public are also encouraged to call NJ Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) for general questions at 1-800-222-1222.
What do we know?
The 2019 Novel Corona Virus or (2019-nCoV) is a new respiratory illness that was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified.
What is the source of 2019 Novel Coronavirus?
Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of the 2019-nCoV. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting the virus likely emerged from an animal source. Analysis of the genetic tree of this virus is ongoing to know the specific source of the virus. SARS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from civit cats, while MERS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from camels.
Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus 2019
Current symptoms reported for patients with 2019-nCoV have included:
- Runny nose
- Cough/sore throat
- Shortness of breath
If you have any of the symptoms above and recently traveled to Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, please contact your healthcare provider.
How does 2019 novel Coronavirus spread?
Since this virus is very new, public health officials continue to carefully monitor how the virus spreads. It may spread from animals to humans, but now it seems to be spreading from person-to-person. The United States reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020. Person-to-person transmission can happen on the continuum. Some viruses, such as measles, are highly contagious, while others are less so. At this time, it is unclear how easily or sustainably the virus is spreading between people.
Am I at risk for 2019-nCoV infection in the United States?
This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus website. Currently, there are no cases in New Jersey. The CDC is working diligently to identify new cases in the United States and when they do, they will take every precaution to prevent further illness from spreading.
What if I recently traveled to Wuhan, China and got sick?
If you were in Wuhan and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left Wuhan, 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. Stay home, except for seeking medical care.
- Avoid further travel until the illness resolves.
- 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 to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
What if I have travel plans to Wuhan, China?
At this time, CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China, including Wuhan. If you have travel plans to Wuhan, China, it is recommended you consult with your healthcare provider. The CDC has additional specific guidance for travelers available online at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/china#travel-notices.
If someone has returned from China, but has no symptoms. Can they be swabbed to be sure that they do not have the virus?
The CDC is currently not testing every individual returning from travel in China and there should be no restrictions on individuals who are asymptomatic.
I am planning to travel soon. Should I wear a mask on the plane?
The CDC has not made any recommendations that travelers need to wear masks in an effort to prevent exposure to the 2019 novel coronavirus.
How do I prevent 2019-nCoV ?
Should you come into contact with a person suspected or confirmed of having 2019-nCoV, the following precautions are recommended:
- Frequent handwashing
- Avoid touching eyes, ears, nose
- Avoid close contact with those are appear to be sick
- Stay home if you are feeling ill and contact your healthcare provider should you have recently traveled to Wuhan, China.
What about animals or animal products imported from China?
CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that animals or animal products imported from China pose a risk for spreading 2019-nCoV in the United States. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available. The United States Department of Agriculture regulates the importation of animals and animal products, and CDC regulates the importation of animals and animal products capable of spreading human disease.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention