WACO, Texas – The CDC issued new warnings involving the Coronavirus on Tuesday.
“There is still a possibility that we can contain the virus and interrupt its transmission. But the virus may settle down into endemic pattern of transmission into a seasonal pattern of transmission or could accelerate into a full blown global pandemic. And at this point, it is not possible to say which of those realities is,” says Dr. Michael Ryan, the Executive Director with WHO Health Emergencies Programme.
The CDC wants U.S. businesses, hospitals, and communities to begin preparing for the possible spread of the Coronavirus.
Here in McLennan County, health officials are already prepared.
“We are maintaining contact with our hospitals who are, of course, on the first line of defense. Our hospitals, our clinics, daycares, lots of businesses to understand what’s going on in McLennan County in terms of infectious diseases and illnesses. We do that on a daily basis,” says Kelly Crane, with the McLennan County Public Health District.
Symptoms of the Coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms could take anywhere between two to 14 days to appear after exposure.
“What we’re seeing is some people do get very sick, but a lot of people are okay and they just have symptoms like a common cold. They don’t have a fever and they don’t require hospitalization. This is not necessarily a virus that is going to cause mass hospitalization,” says Crane.
The virus is spread through person to person contact.
“There are so many different rumors and thoughts and questions, like can it be spread by receiving packages from China? The answer is no. It has to be human-to-human contact to spread so your packages are safe. The risk right now is travel, and that is the travel to China specifically,” says Crane.
You can help protect yourself from the virus the same way you would with the flu, by washing your hands and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
If you are sick, stay home and seek medical care.