New coronavirus: What you need to know
A new flu-like strain of the coronavirus has been reported in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and the US.
Currently, there are no reported cases in Canada, although several people are being monitored for signs they may have contracted the virus.
McMaster's Environmental & Occupational Health Support Services is continuing to monitor the situation and will follow any recommendations made by Canadian public health agencies.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases like the common cold and pneumonia. They typically affect the upper respiratory tract and can range in severity from mild to severe.
Risk of severe disease may be higher in people with weakened immune systems, such as older adults and people with chronic disease.
The symptoms of this new virus, originally identified in Wuhan, China, include:
- difficulty breathing
Other common symptoms of coronavirus can include:
- runny nose
- sore throat
- a general feeling of being unwell
The Public Health Agency of Canada is monitoring this rapidly evolving situation. More information on the coronavirus is available on their site.
What to do if you feel sick
As with any virus, here's what to do if you feel ill:
- Stay home and do your best to avoid close contact with others
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
Help prevent the spread of illness
- Wash your hands often. Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if water is not available
- Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick