Below you can find shareable infographics in English and Chinese with everything you need to know about the virus, protecting yourself and family, and when to get help. Share with your community, including ayis and drivers, to keep them and your family safe.
By Dr Laura Jordhen, MD
Chief of Family Medicine
Shanghai United Family Pudong Hospital
United Family Healthcare (UFH)
UFH Family Medicine Fellowship-Preceptor
Areas of specialty: Family medicine, including well-baby and well-child checks, gynecologic care, preventive medicine and urgent care.
A new respiratory virus was discovered in December 2019 in central China, and is making news with urgent updates several times a day. It is now confirmed that the 2019-nCoV virus—the scientific name for the virus–is spread person to person, causing a lot of anxiety for our families who trust us for their care. Much is not yet known such as how efficiently the virus spreads, and the incubation period. Fortunately, it does not appear as easily spread as many respiratory viruses, and simple precautions can keep you and your family healthy.
The 2019-nCoV virus is a type of coronavirus—so called because the virus looks like a crown or corona. This is a family of viruses that cause respiratory disease—including the common cold. Some coronaviruses like SARS and MERS are quite dangerous, and some are completely benign. In all likelihood anyone reading this article has already had at least one coronavirus infection! Coronaviruses are typically spread in the fall and winter, and when able to spread from person to person, are typically spread by droplets in the air from coughing and sneezing, through close contact such as shaking hands, or from a contaminated surface.
The symptoms of the 2019-nCoV infection are not different from other respiratory infections, and it is not possible to distinguish by symptoms alone whether a patient has this new virus, influenza, or even the common cold. There is no specific treatment 2019-nCoV. Oseltamivir, so effective for influenza, does not treat coronavirus. The vast majority of patients with a coronavirus infection make a complete recovery, but preventing the infection is even better than that!
The most important precaution is washing your hands: healthy skin is a very good barrier protecting you from a viral infection—but when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, the virus can cause an infection. It is important to wash after coughing or sneezing, before preparing or eating meals, and especially before touching your face. For the 2019-nCoV strain, avoiding contact with live wild or farm animals and thoroughly cooking meat is a must. If you are ill, staying home from school or work will protect your colleagues and classmates. Influenza is very active currently, and careful hand hygiene will prevent influenza as well. If you can’t avoid contact with ill people, a surgical mask is a reliable way to prevent the transmission of diseases spread by droplets. More tips for staying healthy are in the infographics below.
Your health care team at Shanghai United Family Pudong Hospital is ready to answer your questions about 2019-CoV and staying healthy over Winter and through Lunar New Year travels. Happy New Year! 新年快乐!