The Coronavirus – Be Informed not Afraid
- The Human Coronavirus is actually a large family of viruses, within which lives two wide-spreading diseases our globe not too long ago battled called SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
- This new and third type of human coronavirus, which is simply called “Coronavirus” in the media, is medically known as “COVID-19” and is the disease caused by the newly identified severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2), now considered to be a pandemic as it is beng identified in a variety of countries.
- There are many theories as to the origin of COVID-19, one being that it originated from an infected animal sold at a market in Wuhan China that transferred to a human host through unconfirmed means.
- When to suspect a possible case of COVID-19 (this criteria is compiled from the little currently known about COVID-19 cases plus historical evidence related to SARS and MERS):
- A patient with acute respiratory illness (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND with no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation AND a history of travel to or residence in a country/area or territory reporting local transmission (See situation report).of COVID-19 disease during the 14 days prior to symptom onset.
- A patient with any acute respiratory illness AND having been in contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case (see definition of contact) in the last 14 days prior to onset of symptoms;
- A patient with severe acute respiratory infection (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease e.g., cough, shortness breath) AND requiring hospitalization AND with no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation.
- If you meet any of the above criteria, or suspect someone does, immediately call your primary healthcare provider (before going to any emergency department – as special precautions will be taken to safely isolate you from others). You may also contact the NH Division of Public Health Services at 603-271-4496 if you have any questions or concerns.
- Non-pharmaceutical Intervention Strategies (NPIs) are things YOU can do to help protect yourself and others from this disease, or other quickly spreading illnesses like the common cold virus or the flu:
- Personal NPIs: Frequent hand washing; sneeze and cough into the crook of your arm NOT into the air or into your hands; masks when in the presence of those with respiratory symptoms and/or fever (if contact is unavoidable)
- Community NPIs: staying home when exhibiting any symptoms of illness (cough, fever, shortness of breath)
- Environmental NPIs: cleaning all surfaces (door knobs, grocery cart handles, etc)
Resources for more up to the minute information: