The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China, and is currently known as coronavirus (COVID-19), meaning it is a strain of virus not previously seen in humans. This virus presents as an upper respiratory illness with symptoms similar to the common flu and is spreading person-to-person. The virus has caused death, but cases have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness including pneumonia, depending on a variety of factors that are not yet fully known.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, AND WHO IS AT RISK?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever (100.4 or higher), cough, and shortness of breath. Some people have reported having a runny nose, diarrhea, or sore throat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that individuals may begin to experience the symptoms of the virus 2-14 days after exposure. Individuals who have recently traveled to China or other affected geographic area (see here) and individuals who have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient are most at risk.
DO WE HAVE CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY?
For an up to date list of current cases in San Bernardino visit: wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/coronavirus/. The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health (CT DPH) is providing updated information.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREPARE?
A COVID-19 outbreak could go on for an extended period of time, so you need to create a household plan of action so you will be prepared. The CDC has guidelines to help families create a plan of action, regarding personal health habits for the home, preparations for a temporary closure of school, childcare facilities, or workplace, and how to plan. Visit the CDC website for more detailed information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person when individuals are in close contact with one another and respiratory droplets produced by an infected person (coughing, sneezing) land in the mouths or noses of nearby people. Transmission can also occur via contact with infected surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or their eyes.
HOW CAN I HELP PROTECT MYSELF
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Stay home when you are sick
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL? EVEN TO OTHER COUNTRIES WITH HIGH NUMBERS OF CONFIRMED CASES?
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAD CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS THE VIRUS?
Call your doctor if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you have recently traveled from an area in a country (China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea) with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
IS THERE A VACCINE OR TREATMENT?
Currently, there is no vaccine or anti-viral treatment available to protect against COVID-19.
SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT PETS OR OTHER ANIMALS AND COVID-19?
While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. The CDC recommends that people traveling to China avoid animals both live and dead, but there is no reason to think that any animals or pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new Coronavirus.
CDC information and fact sheets on the Coronavirus in various languages, can be found below: