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February 15, 2020 4 mins

Reports of a coronavirus outbreak in China have recently flooded the world news cycle.   

This respiratory disease has affected tens of thousands of people and has caused more than 1000 deaths in China.

The Centers for Disease Control (or CDC) has now confirmed that the first case of the coronavirus, now called COVID-19, arrived in the United States on January 30th, 2020.

There is fear in the unknown, so here’s what you need to know.

Coronaviruses are a large family of common viruses….but they usually cause nothing more than just a cold.  

The coronavirus is spread just like any other respiratory infection — through the droplets that come out of your face when you cough or sneeze.  

So if you are within 6 feet of a person when they cough or sneeze, dodge their spray!

As far as symptoms go, people that have had a confirmed case of the coronavirus have had symptoms that range from mild to severely ill and dying.   

Some of the symptoms that people have experienced are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  

Symptoms can come on as quickly as 2 days after exposure, but can also present 14 days after exposure.

The CDC fully expects that more cases will appear in the US.  

There is no vaccine or shot to keep from getting the coronavirus.  

The best prevention is to avoid being exposed to this virus.  

So how do you do that?  Other than avoiding travel to China, follow these everyday precautions that you should already be doing…especially during flu season!

  1. Wash your hand a lot(!) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If you don’t have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer
  2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  3. Don't touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  4. If you are sick, STAY HOME!
  5. Always cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  6. Clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch alot.  

Lastly, If you think you have been exposed to the coronavirus, call your doctor or local health department immediately.

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