You've probably been hearing lots of news reports about Coronavirus (officially known as 2019-nCoV). These virus outbreaks can be scary. The internet is a great source of information, and unfortunately sometimes incorrect information. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is a reliable source of information on this topic. It also publishes key health information, including weekly data on all deaths and diseases reported in the US and travelers' health advisories. The CDC also fields special rapid-response teams to halt epidemic diseases.
The CDC recommends these measure to help protect against getting this Coronavirus (and other infections, too):
- Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Staying home if you are sick
- Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched objects and surfaces
There is no solid evidence to suggest that face masks worn by the public prevent people from being infected by the virus. The CDC indicates that masks that do not fit tightly around the face will do little to prevent transmission. However, some experts say that wearing a mask will prevent a person from touching their mouth and nose, which is how viruses commonly enter the body.
For more information, visit the CDC's web page on this Coronavirus, including prevention and treatment, latest news, and information for travelers.