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2019 Novel Coronavirus: Q & A Part 1 with Dr. Andy DeMarco

Q: What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus?

This particular strain of the Coronavirus is a new respiratory virus. This virus was first identified in Wuhan, China.

Q: So, there are different strains of Coronavirus?

Yes, while some strains can be dangerous, most of what we see here in the United States are not a concern. Usually the coronavirus causes common cold symptoms that require only conservative management. What we are hearing about in the news is called a Novel Coronavirus, which means a new strain of the virus.

Q: Should I be concerned about contracting the Novel Coronavirus?

I am telling my patients if they have been in close contact with someone who recently traveled to Asia and are experiencing symptoms such as a headache, runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, to call me right away.

Q: How did the Novel Coronavirus spread?

It is believed that animal to human transmission started the spread of this strain in Wuhan, China. Human to human transmission then continued to spread the virus.

Q: Have there been confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Pennsylvania?

Currently there have been no confirmed cases in Pennsylvania.

Q: What should I do if I am concerned I have this novel strain of the coronavirus?

Anyone who feels they have been exposed to this particular strain needs to contact their healthcare provider/health department right away and await further instruction. If you go straight to the emergency room or to a doctor’s office, you pose a risk of spreading the infection.

Q: Is there a vaccine?

Currently there is not a vaccine.

Q: Can I do anything to prevent myself from getting sick.

I always stress the importance of frequent hand washing, keeping your hands away from mucous membranes, such as your eyes, nose, and mouth, and to block coughs and sneezes as best you can. But if you start to feel unwell, call your healthcare provider immediately.

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