Coronavirus: What do you need to know?

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by Brynn Shoup-Hill


   Do you know what to do if coronavirus hits Goshen?

   The coronavirus has been a very hot topic everywhere since its breakout around December of 2019. It is known to have started Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. But, since the start of this outbreak, there has been talk about the multiple cases in the U.S.

 How worried should citizens be about this? Should we be worried at all? What can I do to prevent this from happening to me?

The answer to the first question is: while this is a very serious health threat, the general U.S. population or international populations should not be worried at this time. People should follow normal precautions, like washing hands regularly and staying home if they are sick.

 The virus is known to have spread through people handling animals, or animal-human contact in China. But, the only known positive cases in the U.S are from people who had recently traveled to the Hubei province or other parts of mainland China. 

 The risk of getting the virus is very low, if you have not been to mainland China lately or had contact with someone that has tested positive to having the coronavirus. 

Recently, Alex Azar, secretary for Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has talked about the coronavirus, and how U.S. citizens should treat it at this time and how the U.S. government or health officials are handling it at this time. 

“Ensure resources are focused on the health and safety of the American people,” says Azar. “I want to stress: The risk of infection for Americans remains low, and with these and our previous actions, we are working to keep the risk low. ”

The United States also is temporarily prohibiting traveling access to China, and has quarantined anyone that has come back to the U.S. from China for two weeks. So, catching the virus from another person in the United States has not happened at this point (late February 2020), so it should not be a concern at the present time.

Shown is a global map where the darker the shaded country, the more cases of Coronavirus outbreaks have been confirmed. This data is from March 2, 2020, and as this is an evolving situation the information presented in the picture is subject to change (From Wikipedia).

The CDC (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention) is the leading National Public Health Institute (HHS) in the United States and is also under the federal Department of Health and Human Services. It has released multiple statements about the coronavirus and has been following the progression of these viruses very carefully since the outbreak in December 2019. 

 “It’s unclear how the situation will unfold, but risk is dependent on exposure,” says the CDC.For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low at this time.”

So, according to most public health officials, the coronavirus is a serious health concern but, there is no immediate risk for the general public of the United States. 




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