What Are Coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of enveloped viruses that were first discovered in the 1960s. These viruses are most commonly found in animals, including camels and bats, and are not typically transmitted between animals and humans. However, six strains of coronavirus have been known to be capable of completing animal-to-human transmission. The latest strain, known as 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCov, is the seventh strain now known to have this capability. This occurred at an animal and seafood market in Wuhan, China. The growing numbers of patients who have not had exposure to animal markets in this area suggests that person-to-person transmission is now occurring.
Currently there is no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV virus. The best way to prevent becoming infected is to avoid being exposed to the virus. As a reminder, the CDC recommends the following proactive measures to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
According to the CDC, "There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions. People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact their healthcare provider immediately" (2020).
We will keep you updated as more information unfolds.