Health officials monitoring coronavirus


"Anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of, the coronavirus should contact their primary-care provider, local public health office or call 811". Viruses such as measles and influenza can be spread from people who aren't showing signs of disease.

Chinese officials reported a huge jump in cases of the newly discovered coronavirus. Also called the new coronavirus, the coronavirus in question is now attracting intense attention due to its similarities with SARS, which claimed more than 600 lives in China and Hong Kong and at least 100 overseas between 2002 and 2003. Among the next steps, the CDC developed a test for the virus and aims to make it usable by state health departments, to speed diagnosis of suspected cases. There's one exception, though.

Already this flu season (which generally begins in the October and peaks during winter months), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 15 million people in the USA have gotten sick with flu. That's exactly what the first US patients did.

The department also ordered personnel working at the US Consulate General in Wuhan - the epicenter of the outbreak - to depart for the United States, the official said in a statement Monday. And I want to commend them for that. Currently, the CDC is the only entity capable of testing for this novel coronavirus. Still, scientists at the CDC have been waiting for weeks for an invitation to come into China and do some firsthand research. And obviously, as more information becomes available, we would have to change our operations if indeed that was a significant issue.

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Some viruses, such as the flu, can spread before symptoms are obvious. And epidemics are driven by the openly sick, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief of the National Institutes of Health.

It's not that this vaccine will directly fight the pneumonia caused by influenza or the new coronavirus; the pneumococcal vaccine actually revs the body's defenses against a different microbe - the common bacterium Streptococcus pneumonia - that also causes pneumonia.

Due to the outbreak of the virus, hundreds of Americans who are in Wuhan, China are being evacuated, but one American man said he isn't going anywhere.