We have been closely watching reports of a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath but this virus had caused severe respiratory illness as well.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, and researchers are still in the early days of the international investigation. It is likely there will be more cases reported in the U.S. in the coming days and weeks. The CDC has begun screening travelers who are coming into the country from China at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
While this is a serious public health threat, the CDC continues to believe the immediate risk to the U.S. general public is low at this time. Our health professionals will continue monitoring the situation and are following the direction given by public health experts.
The first case of 2019-nCoV confirmed in the United States was in the Washington state on January 21, 2020. The second infection in the United States was found in Illinois. As of January 26, 2020, the CDC confirmed additional travel-related infections of 2019-nCoV in the United States, this time in Arizona and California.
What should I do if I am travelling to China?
Right now,the CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China. In addition, the CDC recommends people traveling to other parts of China be proactive with health precautions such as avoiding contact with people who are sick and practicing good hand hygiene.
What can I do to protect myself?
For the general public, no additional precautions are recommended beyond the simple daily precautions that everyone should always take:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
It is currently flu and respiratory disease season, and flu activity is still high and expected to continue for several weeks. It is recommended that anyone over the age of 6 months get the flu shot, and especially people with chronic medical conditions who are at high-risk for flu-related complications. the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
What should I do if I think I have been exposed to or have been infected with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
We recommend that anyone who has a fever, cough or shortness of breath AND has travelled from Wuhan City, China in the 14 days before the start of symptoms or has been in close contact with a person who is under investigation for 2019-nCoV while that person was ill, come into one of the Georgia State University Student Health Clinics to be evaluated. The clinics accept walk-in visits, but students can also make an appointment online at gsu.medicatconnect.com or contact us at the numbers below.
As we learn more about this novel coronavirus, we will continue to update our guidance.
141 Piedmont Ave, NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
(J. Wesley Dobbs side of Commons, across from J Deck)
555 North Indian Creek Drive Building H, Room 1800 Clarkston, GA 30021
2101 Womack Rd Building NT, Room 1500 Dunwoody, GA 30338