Coronavirus (Novel) – General Information for Connecticut

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Updated: February 18, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.  Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan City.  Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other countries, including the United States.

For more detailed information on the virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

WHAT IS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19, 2019-nCoV)?

2019 Novel Coronavirus, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of the 2019-nCoV. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. This virus now is spreading from person-to-person, via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOVEL CORONAVIRUS 2019, AND WHO IS AT RISK?

Current symptoms reported for patients with the virus have included:

The CDC believes individuals may begin to experience the symptoms of the virus 2-14 days after exposure.

DO WE HAVE CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN CONNECTICUT?

Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) had found two persons under investigation for the coronavirus, one in Middlesex County who is a student at Wesleyan University and the other in New Haven County, but negative tests for the virus, have been received.  Both persons had tested positive for influenza type A and the cause of their illness, is the flu.

WHERE HAVE THERE BEEN CONFIRMED CASES?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has spread between two people in the United States in Illinois, representing the first instance of person-to-person spread with this new virus. Previously, all confirmed U.S. cases had been associated with travel to Wuhan, China, where an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by this novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019. This latest 2019-nCoV patient had no history of travel to Wuhan, but shared a household with the patient diagnosed with 2019-nCoV infection on January 21, 2020. CDC will continue to update the public as we learn more about this coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring the outbreak in the United States and other countries.  To see a map and list of locations where cases have been confirmed, click here to link to the CDC webpage, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

HOW IS CORONAVIRUS TRANSMITTED?

 Person-to-person transmission is thought to be the route which mainly spreads this respiratory illness via droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.  There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV and investigations are ongoing.  While CDC considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time.

HOW CAN I HELP PROTECT MYSELF?

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

CAN I TRAVEL TO CHINA?

CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China in response to the coronavirus respiratory illness outbreak. Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province, including buses, subways, trains, and the international airport.  Additional restrictions and cancellations of events may occur. There is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAD CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS THE VIRUS?

What if I recently traveled to Wuhan, China or came in contact with an individual who had been exposed, and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing? Individuals should seek medical care right away. Before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel or contact with someone and your symptoms. Avoid contact with others.

IS THERE A VACCINE?

Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against 2019-nCoV.

SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT PETS OR OTHER ANIMALS AND COVID-19?

While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. CDC recommends that people traveling to China avoid animals both live and dead, but there is no reason to think that any animals or pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus.

Additional Information:

CDC Information and factsheets on the coronavirus in various languages, can be found below:

Fact sheets in various languages: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/factsheets.html

World Health Organization:

Coronavirus “SCAM ALERT” Warning

The Connecticut Departments of Consumer Protection (DCP), Public Health (DPH) and the Office of the Attorney General William Tong is warning consumers that scam artists are trying to take advantage of consumers’ during heightened attention to coronavirus. Scam artists may post, email, and text to promote false information about “cases” of the disease in your neighborhood that do not exist, and bogus prevention medication in order to obtain your personal information and your money. They also may ask you to donate to victims through a sham charity or offer “advice” about false treatments for the disease.

To avoid these types of scams:

Any consumers who notice one of these scams or feel they have fallen victim to a scam should report it to DCP or the Office of the Attorney General as soon as they are able using the below contact information:

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SOURCES: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); World Health Organization; Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection

PREPARED BY: 211/tb
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: February2020