The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus, referred to as COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019. A coronavirus is a type of virus that is common in many different species of animals including camels, cattle, cats and bats. Some coronaviruses can infect people and then spread to other people. MERS and SARS are other types of coronaviruses that have spread between people. Because this is a new type of virus, scientists and health professionals are learning more about it every day. The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 31, 2020.
How does it spread?
- The virus can spread from one person to another person if they are in close personal contact with each other (usually within about six feet).
- It is thought to be spread through droplets when a person who has the virus coughs or sneezes (the same way the flu is spread).
- It is not thought to be able to be spread by touching a surface that has the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth, but this is not the primary way it spreads.
What are the symptoms?
- The 2019 novel coronavirus is a respiratory illness. The flu and pneumonia are other types of respiratory illnesses.
- The most common symptoms are fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
- Symptoms may appear between 2 and 14 days after being exposed to the virus.
Is there a vaccine?
- No. Because this is a newly discovered virus, there is no vaccine for it yet.
How serious is it?
- Most people who are sick with the 2019 novel coronavirus will recover on their own.
- In some cases, some people may develop pneumonia or need to be taken to the hospital.
- People who have a weakened immune system, young children and the elderly are most at risk of getting a serious illness from it.
How can I keep from getting it?
- Like any respiratory virus, the best ways to prevent getting sick are the same things that prevent other illnesses.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom; before eating or drinking; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Follow the Governor’s Stay at Home Order and stay at home except for essential services (getting groceries, etc.)
What is Clermont County Public Health doing to prevent it?
- We are in regular communication with the Ohio Department of Health as we learn more about this new virus.
- We have been sharing new information and resources with doctor offices, hospitals and other health care providers.
- We have held two PPE donation drives to collect personal protective equipment for local healthcare workers.
- We are working with our county’s Emergency Management Agency, public safety partners and other county agencies to communicate the latest information.
- Preventing disease is what we are trained to do in public health.
- Our team of nurses investigates communicable diseases daily to prevent them from spreading.
- Visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website for the most up to date information on the number of confirmed cases in Ohio.
Where can I find more information?
If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).