Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), formerly called nCoV-19
A novel Coronavirus, (novel meaning a new strain of a virus that has not been previously identified in humans), currently designated SARS-CoV-2, was first identified in China. It causes a disease called Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) which has caused severe illness and death in China and has spread to several other countries.
COVID-19 was identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Most people infected with SARS-CoV-2 developed severe acute respiratory illness (pneumonia) with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath, related to the disease called COVID-19. There have been several reported deaths. Investigators are trying to determine the source of SARS-CoV-2, and there is a link to a large wholesale fish and live animal market in Wuhan City. The virus has moved to other countries via travelers. There have been several reported cases around the world of COVID-19, including several in North America.
Prior to this, Coronaviruses have been linked to two major outbreaks: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
The SARS-CoV-2 appears to spread from close, person-to-person contact.
This virus may also spread by touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
At this time, it seems that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2. To date, cases have been linked with recent travel to Wuhan China, or direct contact with those who have recently traveled there.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
The best methods of prevention include:
- 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 with unwashed hands
- 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.
Prevention in Healthcare
The following are general recommendations for preventing the transmission of infectious agents in healthcare settings (https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/isolation/index.html):
- Providing masks and hand hygiene products at all ports of entry to health systems (hospitals, physician offices, clinics)
- Place surgical masks on symptomatic patients immediately (clinically tolerable).
- Rapid triage symptomatic patients in designated areas (negative pressure if available)
- Immediate placement in isolation precautions (standard, contact, airborne) and use eye protection, e.g. goggles, or a face shield, e.g. droplet precautions
- Strict adherence to hand hygiene guidelines by healthcare workers
- Conduct proper environmental hygiene with use of EPA-registered disinfectants that have microbiocidal (i.e., killing) activity against the pathogens most likely to contaminate the patient-care environment (in this case enveloped viruses). Use in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
The products listed below have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. Therefore these products can be used against SARS-CoV-2 when used in accordance with the directions for use against the referenced viruses listed below on hard, non-porous surfaces.1
Refer to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/ for additional information.
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