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On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19. OSDH will be updating our website and other OSDH materials to reflect the updated name.
Coronavirus Disease 2019
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported thousands of infections with COVID-19 in China, with the virus reportedly spreading from person-to-person in many parts of that country. Infections with COVID-19, most of them associated with travel from Wuhan, also are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States.
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What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
For confirmed COVID-19 infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people being mildly sick to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.
How do people become infected with COVID-19?
The exact way the virus is spread is not fully known. With similar coronaviruses (such as MERS and SARS) person-to-person spread is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other viruses that cause respiratory illness spread. The persons at greatest risk are close contacts of an infected case such as those who are in the same room for a long period of time, such as healthcare personnel or household members.
How can I help protect myself and my family?
Per recommendations from the CDC, nonessential travel to China is not recommended at this time to prevent U.S. travelers from getting the virus during a visit to China. It is important to understand this virus is not spreading in the United States right now, so aside from avoiding nonessential travel the best steps to avoid contracting respiratory viruses include:
What should I do if I recently traveled to China and got sick?
If you were in China within the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should get medical care. Call the office of your healthcare provider before you go and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.
Are persons in the United States at risk to get COVID-19?
Imported cases of COVID-19 infection in people have been detected in the U.S. Person-to-person spread has been detected among close household contacts, but this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States. While CDC and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 to the general American public is considered low at this time.
What is the Oklahoma State Department of Health doing to prepare for COVID-19?
The OSDH is working with our federal partners at the CDC in monitoring the developing outbreak. The OSDH is providing information to local health departments and healthcare providers across Oklahoma on how to safely and effectively evaluate ill people who have been to China. The OSDH will continue to monitor the situation, work with partners to identify any possible cases, provide information and consultation to ensure that possible cases are managed safely, support laboratory testing, and implement recommendations from the CDC.
For Additional Information and Guidance:
General information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/clinical-criteria.html
Initial Public Health Response and Interim Clinical Guidance for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak — United States, December 31, 2019–February 4, 2020:
Flowchart to Identify and Assess 2019 Novel Coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/identify-assess-flowchart.html
Infection Control Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/infection-control.html
Laboratory Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/lab/index.html
Travel Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html
For healthcare providers, infection preventionists, laboratorians, and public health personnel wanting to stay informed, please email OKHAN@health.ok.gov to subscribe to the Oklahoma Health Alert Network (OK-HAN).
This page last updated February 14, 2020
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