Coronavirus: What you need to know

2019 novel coronavirus

Virus outbreaks can be concerning to PHFE WIC staff and participants, since we work closely with the public and serve young children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, called 2019 novel Coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV).  Currently, the vast majority of cases are occurring in China and the risk to the public in the United States remains low.

Coronaviruses usually cause an upper respiratory tract illness like the common cold. The new strain is typically associated with a range of symptoms from mild fever to cough and shortness of breath, or pneumonia (lower respiratory tract illness).

It’s still cold and flu season, and the same practices that stop the spread of these common illnesses are recommended:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick and seek medical attention. Advise participants to do the same.
  • Cover mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch.
  • If you have traveled to Hubei Province China within the past 14 days, it is most prudent to stay at home until you contact your health provider and let them know of your recent travel. Avoid public spaces until you are cleared by your medical provider. Advise participants to do the same.

There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. Most infected people will recover on their own.

Note that this is an evolving situation and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Learn more about coronavirus here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

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