What you should know about Coronavirus.
Most people have been infected with a coronavirus at some point in their lives.
Human coronaviruses usually cause the common cold, including symptoms like a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and fever.
There are coronaviruses that infect animals, too. Sometimes, although rarely, an animal coronavirus evolves to infect humans.
As of Jan. 21, 2020, the United States has one confirmed case of a person infected with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, a person who had flown from Wuhan, China to Washington state.
Health officials are on high alert, however, and are screening people who have flown from Wuhan to the United States at several major U.S. airports.
So, should you be worried about coronavirus?
What is coronavirus?
There are four different human coronaviruses that commonly infect people. Those are the viruses that cause routine cold symptoms. There are also coronaviruses that are common in animals, such as bats and camels.
In the rare instance that an animal coronavirus evolves to be able to infect a human, the virus can cause more severe symptoms.
How does the 2019 Novel Coronavirus spread?
Human coronaviruses spread from person to person through the air, when an infected person coughs or sneezes; by close personal contact such as shaking hands; or by touching a contaminated surface or object then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
MERS and SARS also spread when people are in contact with an infected person’s respiratory droplets or secretions, such as when the sick person coughs or sneezes, or by touching contaminated surfaces then touching their faces.
While experts are still working to determine how 2019 Novel Coronavirus spreads from person to person, it would be wise to take precautions:
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