While the Flu is still making its rounds around Gainesville and Alachua County, another illness has made national headlines. The coronavirus has quickly become one of the most talked about viruses in recent history, and with a good reason. According to Business Insider, the coronavirus has killed more people in the past 6 weeks than the 2003 SARS outbreak did in 8 months.
So here’s everything the CDC wants you to know to stay updated and stay healthy:
The coronavirus’s origins have been traced to Wuhan, China. Those first patients in Wuhan all reportedly were connected to a large seafood and animal market with suggests to the CDC that it was an animal-to-person spread. While there’s still a lot of unknowns about the virus, those closely tracking it have noticed the person-to-person spread happens within close contact and mostly transfers through spit from coughs or sneezes.
Currently, North America, Australia, Asia and Europe all have reported cases of the coronavirus, according to Al Jazeera. Additionally USA Today reports that an American cruise line has been denied by ports in Japan and Thailand. The ship has been quarantined and stranded at sea as some travelers have shown coronavirus symptoms. This aligns with international affairs attempts in stopping the spread. The US has canceled almost all air travel to China where there’s around 42,000 reported cases and counting.
The CDC believes that the risk for the American public is still relatively low, even with the few cases reported in the states. Some easy preventative measures everyone can take is getting their flu shot, since the coronavirus presents very similar flu and respiratory symptoms, and making sure their families are stopping the spread of germs through constant hand washing and wiping down common area surfaces. And if anything, a great first step is contacting your primary family doctor for a check-up.
For more frequently-updated information about the coronavirus, check at the CDC’s tab on it here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html