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COVID-19 Formerly Known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Q & A Part 2 with Dr. Andy DeMarco

Q: Is it true travel has been suspended to the U.S. from China?

Yes, the United States has temporarily suspended entry for any foreign nationals who have traveled to China. On February 2, any U.S. citizen returning home from Hubai, a province of China, within the past 14 days will be quarantined for 14 days. Other parts of China will be “subject to proactive entry screening” up to 14 days of monitoring and self-quarantining.

I believe it is wise to avoid travel to China. On the bright side – virulence seems to be less than SARS or MERS.

Q: How do I prevent myself from getting sick?

While epidemiologists are not certain of how the virus is transmitted, we can’t underestimate the importance of hand washing. When it comes to washing your hands, lather using soap and water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Washing is especially important after sneezing or coughing. If you are using a hand sanitizer make sure it is made up of at least 60% alcohol. Always avoid touching mucous membranes such as eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Most importantly, stay home when sick.

Q: I have seen people wearing face masks on the news, would you suggest I do that?

The CDC does not recommend the use of face masks. Since there is a great deal of leakage around the sides of the mask it is not tremendously effective.

Q: Should I be concerned about products I order coming from China?  

A virus is most likely not going to make it from China to the United States. Viruses on inanimate objects, stored at ambient temperatures, survive several hours. The risk is almost zero the 2019 Novel Coronavirus could survive the trip from China.

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