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Coronaviruses are a large number of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illness. But there are coronaviruses that have caused more severe illness, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) is a new coronavirus and can cause pneumonia. We are still learning about 2019-nCoV.
Initially some patients were linked to a live seafood and meat market in Wuhan, but cases continued to emerge after the market was closed on January 1. Based on what we know today, the 2019 nCoV can be transmitted from person to person. We don’t yet know just how easily it spreads.
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from a sick person to others through:
Symptoms of coronavirus may include:
If you have traveled to/from Wuhan City and have symptoms, contact a health care provider.
Practice the following recommendations to keep you and your family healthy from a number of viruses:
We are not recommending that people wear masks when they are in public. There is currently no evidence that the virus is spreading in Washington, so the health risk to the general public is low.
People who are sick with respiratory symptoms, like a cough or sneezing, are often asked to wear a mask in waiting rooms or other areas of health care facilities. Asking people who are sick to wear a mask in these places prevents the spread of illnesses to others in the area.
There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses, which include the common cold. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms, including:
Review general guidance for international travelers from the CDC at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices. You can find the latest health guidance about novel coronavirus and travel to China at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-china .
Currently there is no vaccine for this virus or for other coronaviruses.