There has been so much misinformation spread about the coronavirus — coupled with the still limited knowledge of what the virus is and how it makes people sick — has created a local, national and global fear that every cough, fever or chill is a deadly symptom.

Health officials are continually trying to assure the public at large that the flu, the stomach bug or even the common cold is not Coronavirus.

“People are coming into our clinics worried they could get Coronavirus and we feel obligated to stop the hysteria and educate with facts over fiction,” says Dr. Benjamin Barlow, chief medical officer of American Family Care.

“The flu kills more Americans every year than any other virus, yet we don’t hear panic over the flu each year. This flu season, 8,000 people have died from the flu versus 300 hundred Coronavirus deaths. Right now, most folks here and throughout the country are at a very low risk for contacting Coronavirus.”

Here are known medical facts of Coronavirus:

1. WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?

It’s an outbreak of respiratory illnesses caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. It’s resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in China, included cases outside of Wuhan. Other cases have been identified in a growing number of international locations, including the United States.

 2. CAN I CATCH CORONAVIRUS?

 You are most likely safe and have a very low chance of contracting the virus unless you’ve been in close contact with someone who has the Coronavirus — which right now, typically means a traveler from Wuhan, China — the city where it originated.

 3. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Symptoms can be cold or flu-like including a cough, possibly with a fever and shortness of breath. Some will experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Most can recover within a few days, but some with weakened immune systems — such as the young or elderly — may develop a serious infection such as bronchitis or pneumonia. And it can be deadly.

6. HOW DO WE STOP THE VIRUS FROM SPREADING?

Take the same steps you would take to prevent any virus.

• Wash hands regularly

• Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow

• Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth

• Stay away from people who have a runny nose or are coughing or sneezing.

7. SHOULD I TRAVEL TO CHINA? 

Health officials recommend Americans avoid all non-essential travel to China. The US Centers for Disease Control has issued its highest Travel Warning — a level 3.

8. DO FACE MASKS WORK TO STOP THE VIRUS?

Face masks can’t hurt but most people don’t wear them consistently or tight enough to fully cover the nose and mouth so droplets can still spread. If worn properly, masks can prevent the spread of droplets in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes and they do prevent you from touching your face. However, officials with the US Centers for Disease Control are not recommending face masks because right now Coronavirus is not an immediate threat to anyone who hasn’t come in contact with someone with the virus. 

source: American Family Care

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