How many people have died from coronavirus? How is coronavirus spread? The CDC suggests answers to these and other common questions patients may be asking.
Yesterday-March 11, 2020-the World Health Organization (WHO) officially characterized the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a pandemic, noting that the number of cases outside of China have increased 13-fold in the past 2 weeks and the number of affected countries has tripled.Â This increase in cases combined with COVID-19's new pandemic status will surely leave patients having more questions about how they can protect themselves and others from infection. Find out what common questions you may receive and the most recent suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to answer them effectively in the slideshow below.
What is coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases like MERS and SARS.
What are the latest numbers? As of March 11, there are 118 322 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4292 deaths globally. In the US, there are 938 confirmed cases and 29 deaths due to COVID-19 as of March 11. Washington still has the highest number of confirmed cases with 267 total cases reported, followed by New York with 173 and California with 152.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Patients with COVID-19 have had mild-to-severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath that appear 2-14 days after exposure. Patients should give you a call if they develop these symptoms and have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 OR if they have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of the virus.
How is COVID-19 spread? Because COVID-19 is a new disease, there is still more to learn about how it spreads, but what is known so far is that it mainly spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Also, it can spread between people who are within about 6 feet from each other. Some spread may be possible before symptom onset or from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, but these are not thought to be the main way of transmission.
How can I protect myself against COVID-19? Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus, so the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed with everyday actions such as:
If I’m infected, what measures should I take to make sure I don’t spread it to others? If a patient is infected with COVID-19, they should:
What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with ongoing virus spread? If a patient has recently traveled from areas with widespread sustained transmission of COVID-19, they may be asked to stay home for 14 days from the time they left depending on their travel history. If a patient does get sick, they should call your office beforehand to inform you about any travel and symptoms as well as avoid contact with others and any future travel to reduce possibility of transmission.