Five quick questions about the new coronavirus

Editor’s Note — When we first posted this Q&A on our social media platforms, we quickly saw the need for questions and issues arise that we weren’t prepared to handle. We felt we couldn’t…

Five quick questions about the new coronavirus

Editor’s Note — When we first posted this Q&A on our social media platforms, we quickly saw the need for questions and issues arise that we weren’t prepared to handle. We felt we couldn’t wait any longer and we have since made the same question available on the Embargo to provide more readers with another resource.

Good afternoon and welcome to CDC’s Emergency Alert System message

As this is my first ever question on “Embargo” —

a,) both, b.) and C.)

Coronavirus is an emerging viral pathogen associated with wheezing cough and shortness of breath that can develop into pneumonia and be fatal.

This particular strain is in the Middle East and it has been spreading through Saudi Arabia, in Kuwait, in Lebanon and in Jordan.

This is a super-brief FAQ about the coronavirus but we have a number of resources that we have updated on the CDC web site, posted on Twitter or posted on the @cdctips account.

For example:

Coronavirus is a viral respiratory disease, similar to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus). Both of those are currently raging in Saudi Arabia but they were found in 2012-13.

Unlike SARS, a more deadly form of disease, coronavirus has been rare. It has only been seen in a handful of cases. So far, it’s killing about 5 to 10% of those who are infected.

While researchers continue to try to answer basic questions like how prevalent the virus is, other questions continue to come up in the press. How quickly can people get tested? Where can they get tested? Can you come into the US from one of these infected countries?

Coronavirus, which comes from the same family as SARS, appears to have similar symptoms. People can appear to have no symptoms at all and then within a few weeks they are coughing for weeks, have difficulty breathing and can feel as if they are dying. This disease is caught in an emergency room when the fever, lack of appetite, shortness of breath and coughing are severe.

— Dr. William Schaffner, M.D., Chair of Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

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