View All Posts

Feb 03

Officials actively monitoring Coronavirus developments

Posted on February 3, 2020 at 9:45 pm by Clay Curtin

San Mateo County Health is working closely with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to respond to the outbreak of novel coronavirus in China and its potential impacts on the Bay Area. The CDC is leading the national public health effort to investigate the disease and to prevent its spread.

Public health officials are closely monitoring developments and reminding residents that simple steps like proper handwashing remain the best way to stay healthy:
  • 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
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Patients infected with the coronavirus have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

Health officials recommend that those who have travelled to one of the known outbreak areas and start to develop symptoms contact their medical providers or local emergency rooms BEFORE showing up to request medical attention. That way, medical staff can take the necessary precautions to avoid infecting others before potential patient visits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (named “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Chinese health officials have reported thousands of infections with 2019-nCoV in China, with the virus reportedly spreading from person-to-person in many parts of that country. Infections with 2019-nCoV, most of them associated with travel from Wuhan, also are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS.

San Mateo County Health has compiled an informational Coronavirus webpage of updates and resources about local impacts.