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We are still learning about the new (novel) coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large number of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illness. But there are coronaviruses that have caused more severe illness, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new kind of coronavirus that causes mild to severe symptoms, including pneumonia.
Initially some patients were linked to a live seafood and meat market in Wuhan, but cases continued to emerge after the market was closed on January 1. Based on what we know today, the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread from person to person. We don’t yet know just how easily it spreads.
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from a sick person to others through:
Symptoms of coronavirus may include:
If you have traveled to or from Hubei Province or mainland China and have symptoms, contact a health care provider.
Practice the following recommendations to keep you and your family healthy from a number of viruses:
We are not recommending that people wear masks when they are in public. There is currently no evidence that the virus is spreading in Washington, so the health risk to the general public is low.
People who are sick with respiratory symptoms, like a cough or sneezing, are often asked to wear a mask in waiting rooms or other areas of health care facilities. Asking people who are sick to wear a mask in these places prevents the spread of illnesses to others in the area.
Travelers from China are being screened when entering the U.S. and are required to isolate themselves at home and monitor their health for up to 14 days after leaving China. U.S. citizens returning to the U.S. who have been in Hubei Province in the past 14 days will be subject to a mandatory quarantine to get proper medical care and health screening. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-china.html.
If you recently traveled to China, follow the instructions that you were given when you arrived at the airport. If you develop symptoms:
Review general guidance for international travelers from the CDC at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices. You can find the latest health guidance about novel coronavirus and travel to China at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-china .
There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses, which include the common cold. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms, including:
Currently there is no vaccine for this virus or for other coronaviruses.