washing hands in sink

Information About the New Coronavirus

Take daily preventive actions to avoid the coronavirus AND the flu

What You Should Know About Coronavirus

The coronavirus is a new respiratory virus first detected in Wuhan, China. It has since spread to other countries, including the United States. 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms range from little to no symptoms to severe illness and death. It is thought symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure and can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath


What is the best way to prevent infection?

There is no vaccine for this coronavirus at this time. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the coronavirus. You can also take these daily preventive actions:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  It is best to wash your hands after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough with a tissue or your sleeve.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travelers avoid the People’s Republic of China, where the outbreak began. 


How is coronavirus treated?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for coronavirus. Treatment focuses on easing symptoms. If you think you have been exposed to coronavirus and feel sick, call your doctor right away. Make sure to call ahead before you go and tell them why you are coming in.


Is coronavirus worse than the flu?

While flu and coronavirus have similar symptoms, the truth is the flu remains a higher threat to the U.S. public. The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 19 million flu illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths from flu. 

You can still get a flu vaccine, which is the best way to help protect against flu. You can also follow the same daily preventive actions described for the coronavirus.