Check back here for updates on COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment
The Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering has developed an online dashboard to visualize and track reported COVID-19 cases on a daily timescale; the complete set of data is downloadable as a google sheet.
The CDC maintains website posting the latest information regarding infectious diseases. The following are links to selected webpages along with summaries of information that clinicians and patients need to know about COVID-19.
Like many flu viruses, SARS-CoV-2 virus causes an illness characterized by fever, cough and shortness of breath. Given that we are currently in the peak of flu season, many patients with present with these symptoms and most will not have SARS-CoV-2. However, if a patient has traveled from Wuhan, China the possibility of COVID-19 should be seriously considered. Physicians treating patients with upper respiratory flu symptoms who have either traveled to China or have been exposed to people suspected of having COVID-19 flu within the past 2 to 14 days should immediately contact the their local health officials or the CDC to receive advice for how to manage these patients. (Contact CDC-INFO) 800-CDC-INFO | (800-232-4636)
The greatest risk for becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 is in people who have recently been in Wuhan, China. The US-based population is not considered to have a risk for developing COVID-19 unless they are healthcare workers who are providing care for patients known to be infected with this virus or other people who have come in close contact with patients who have the infection.
Prevention is the best approach. General preventative measures include hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoiding contact with people who are sick, staying at home when you are sick, covering your face when coughing or sneezing, throwing any used facial tissues in the trash and frequently disinfecting surfaces you may touch.
If you come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, watch for the signs and symptoms of the infection: fever, cough and shortness of breath. You may also experience chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and a runny nose. If any of these develop, immediately call your health care provider or go to an emergency room and let the clinicians know about your risk of exposure and concern for having COVID-19 infection. Let the health care team know about your concerns by phone before presenting to them if possible. If you are seeing health care providers, the very first thing to do is to tell them about your concerns for having COVID-19 infection. If presenting to a health care provider is not possible, immediately contact the CDC (Contact CDC-INFO) 800-CDC-INFO | (800-232-4636) to obtain advice for what to do.
CDC currently recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.
Health care providers should obtain a detailed travel history for patients being evaluated with fever and acute respiratory illness. Patients with lower respiratory infection symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) who have traveled to Wuhan, China in the last 14 days or have been in close contact with someone being investigated for possible COVID-19 or was in close contact within 14 days with someone with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection should be classified as a Person Under Investigation (PUI). When a PUI has been identified, local infection control and health department officials should immediately be contacted to seek further guidance.
What is a coronavirus, and how dangerous is it? Can I catch it from my pet? Frequently asked questions are answered here.
Updated advice for international traffic
Is it safe to handle packages from China? How can I protect myself? Common myths about virus transmission are debunked here.
Daily updates on the spread of infection, with assessment of regional and global risk.
Patient management, surveillance and case definitions, infection control in health care facilities, and more.
(Photo credit: NIAID)
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