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What You Should Know About Coronavirus

What You Should Know About Coronavirus

What is Coronavirus?

Since its emergence in mid-January in Wuhan, Hubei Province China, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (also referred to as 2019-nCoV or COVID-19) has quickly moved well beyond China. As of February 9, there are 13 confirmed cases in the U.S., none to date in Virginia, West Virginia or Washington, DC. All known cases have originated in individuals who traveled to or from Hubei Province.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while considering this a serious public health concern, has deemed that the risk to the general American public is still considered low.

What Are the Symptoms?

The Novel Coronavirus can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you come to a Valley Health facility, we will ask about your travel history.

What Can You Do?

Each of us can help minimize exposure and protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the larger community by following cold or flu precautions: frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if sick. If you have a fever and bad cough and have recently travelled to China or been in contact with someone who has, call your health care provider immediately and inform them before entering the office.

Is Valley Health Prepared?

Valley Health is on alert, vigilant but not alarmed. We are closely monitoring Coronavirus reports from the CDC, Virginia Department of Health and West Virginia Department of Health. A system-wide committee representing emergency management, infection control, laboratory, pharmacy, and other functions at our hospitals, Urgent Cares and physician practices participates in statewide inter-agency calls and confers weekly to share updates and reliable information.

Valley Health has protocols to ensure the safety of patients and staff and the appropriate treatment of individuals with suspected Coronavirus or any other highly infectious disease who seek care at our hospitals and outpatient clinics. We have the necessary protective supplies, equipment, and medications on hand to provide safe care.

For more information about Coronavirus symptoms and updates on its movement, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Dr. Colin Greene, director of the Virginia Department of Health’s Lord Fairfax Health District, wrote this informative article for The Winchester Star: https://www.winchesterstar.com/winchester_star/local-health-official-be-aware-but-don-t-panic-about/article_f533c0a6-5ee7-583f-89d3-480f0080e80c.html