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Novel coronavirus: Stay informed, stay healthy

We are providing the following information because the health of the EverCougs community is a top priority at Washington State University.

According to the Snohomish Health District, a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Snohomish County was announced on Jan. 21. The Snohomish County man with the virus had recently traveled to Wuhan, China.

About the 2019 novel coronavirus

(Source: CNN)

The 2019 novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China that is known to cause mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

According to the health district, there is much still to learn about the virus; however, they state that the immediate threat to the general American public is considered low. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention are closely monitoring the outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. Multiple cases have been confirmed in the U.S., as well as in other countries.

Symptoms of the virus include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

If you think you have the novel coronavirus

If you have recently traveled to Wuhan, China or mainland China and have developed fever with cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or have had contact with someone who is suspected to have 2019 novel coronavirus, stay home and contact your health care provider.

Important: Before seeing your health care provider, be sure to tell them about your symptoms and/or close contact with someone who is confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, 2019-nCoV infection. This will help the health care provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected. Ask your health care provider to call the local or state health department.

To prevent the spread of viruses

The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Stay home when you are sick so others aren’t exposed to your illness.
  • 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.
  • Cover you mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

For additional information about flu symptoms and what to do if you think you might have the flu, see this webpage from the Snohomish Health District.