Update on coronavirus outbreak and precautions for preventing it

by | February 12, 2020

Personal message from Dr. Ian Kroes on Coronavirus outbreak.

I wanted to offer you a brief update and give you my thoughts about the novel coronavirus outbreak. I have been following the news closely, and have been receiving updates from the CDC, local hospitals, and Stanford. The World Health Organization has called the outbreak a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” Our national CDC, however, considers the risk to people in the United States to be low. As of February 10, there have been 13 cases confirmed in the US, and 6 in California. All of these individuals, except one (in Chicago,) had visited Wuhan. One patient was confirmed recently in Santa Clara County.

While it is still a cause for concern and proper prevention, it’s also important to keep this outbreak in perspective. It is felt that Americans are currently at far greater risk of exposure to seasonal influenza, measles, and tuberculosis than the novel coronavirus. This year’s seasonal influenza alone is estimated to have affected 19,000,000 to 26,000,000 Americans and caused between 10,000 and 25,000 deaths (CDC estimates.)

While there is no vaccine for the novel coronavirus, people can still use the same precautions they would use for preventing any respiratory viral illness: (from Stanford’s recent publication)

  • Washing hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol (if soap and water not available.)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you’re sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces if someone is sick in the house

I do think it is important to reassure people that while the coronavirus can cause a stronger viral respiratory illnesses, like influenza, the number of cases worldwide is still relatively small, and very small in the United States.

You can find more up-to-date information on coronavirus on CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

There is good article on coronavirus was written by sciencealert
https://www.sciencealert.com/coronavirus

For more questions on Coronavirus and prevention you can reach out to Peninsula Doctor team, Dr. Kroes and Dr. Santana. We continue to closely monitor coronavirus in California and the United States and will keep you updated on all changes.

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