The coronaviruses are a family of viruses that we're familiar with.
We know that they cause respiratory tract infection, and most people are gonna be familiar with them from causing the common cold, that's a coronavirus.
But they can cause more serious infections, like SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
Remember that from years ago?
And then there's this new coronavirus, novel coronavirus, that currently originated in China.
How is Wuhan coronavirus transmitted?
The original cases had appeared that it was only transmitted maybe from animals to humans, but now it's clear that there's person-to-person transmission.
And we've seen cases in healthcare workers who've not been with any animal contact.
So we know the healthcare workers are getting them from taking care of patients, so we know there's person-to-person transmission.
What are the symptoms?
It starts off just like any other cold, so, fever, cough, runny nose, overall feeling bad, and then it can progress and cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and that can be fatal.
Public health authorities have developed test for this.
And so, anybody who is at risk for this, present will be related to travelers or contacts with travelers to areas where we know that this is occurring.
We encourage people, their doctors, their healthcare providers to report this to public health and get testing if indicated.
Will the flu shot make a difference?
Influenza's completely unrelated to coronavirus, so getting immunized against influenza will only protect you against influenza.
There's no vaccine against coronavirus at the present time.
And there is no specific therapy for the coronaviruses at the present time.
Right now, all the therapy is supportive, meaning that if somebody has pneumonia, for example, then they might need extra oxygen, or they might need to be on a ventilator, but no specific antiviral therapy.
How can I avoid Wuhan coronavirus?
The only way people can protect themselves is to try not to be around sick people, and to use respiratory etiquette, so people who are sick should be coughing into their arms.
They should be washing their hands frequently.
If you're sick, you should stay at home.
If you're around sick people, try to get away from them.
I know that's not always feasible.
And then hand washing is always appropriate with soap and water, or with the alcohol-based hand gels.