With flu season winding down, public health professionals may soon have a new virus to focus on—the coronavirus. Coronavirus is in the same family as SARS and the common cold. According to a recent CNN article, coronavirus was found in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.
Six people have died from the virus worldwide, prompting Vanderbilt University Medical Center infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner to state, “I wouldn’t be shocked if it came here.”
The CDC is working closely with the World Health Organization and is requesting that doctors ask patients exhibiting certain symptoms where they’ve recently traveled. Infection symptoms include an acute respiratory infection, fever, and a cough.
Experts warn that this virus, which the World Health Organization has dubbed NCoV (novel coronavirus), has a range of effects that include pneumonia and kidney failure. There is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission, according to the article.
But human-to-human transmission is possible and was documented in a case within the United Kingdom.
Learn more about NCoV by visiting the World Health Organization’s website.