What you should know about – and do – for Novel Coronavirus, and preparing for a pandemic

Coronavirus is a virus that causes illness ranging from the common cold to severe diseases. Signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. These are some of the same symptoms as the flu. Severe cases of Coronavirus can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory illness, kidney failure and death.

U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar has emphasized that the immediate risk to the American public remains low. However, it is wise to know what to do to prevent disease, and what to do should there be a pandemic.

To prevent Coronavirus and the flu –

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  • Avoid contact with people who are ill
  • Don’t go to work or school if you are ill

If you have any signs of flu, be sure to see one of our providers as soon as possible.

A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects exceptionally large numbers of people.

Before a pandemic, you should consider …

  • Asking your employer if you can work from at home should a pandemic happen
  • Knowing what you would do if your children’s school or daycare is closed for an extended period

In case you become ill and/or movement is restricted …

  • Talk with family members and loved ones about what will be needed to care for them in your home
  • Store 2 weeks’ worth of water and food
  • Make sure you have enough of prescription medications at home
  • Have non-prescription medications and other health supplies on hand – pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough/cold medicines, vitamins, fluids with electrolytes
  • Get and keep electronic copies of health records from doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies

If there is a pandemic declared, or if you become ill …

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
  • If you are sick, keep your distance from others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Practice other good health habits – get plenty of sleep, eat nutritious food, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, and be physically active