2020 Coronavirus Outbreak – How Does It Effect Downingtown, PA?
Recent news reports suggest the coronavirus outbreak in China could be a global health concern
An outbreak of respiratory illness emerged in China and became international news in January of 2020. As it started to affect those living in Wuhan City, China, the World Health Organization began to investigate 2019-nCov, a novel coronavirus. It was causing severe illnesses among the population, and unconfirmed reports on Chinese social media channels suggest the outbreak was far worse than was being reported in the news. Towards the end of January, several areas were under quarantine, restricting the travel of millions of Chinese citizens. In other places in China, public transit was suspended, and businesses were asked to close for two weeks. Health authorities around the world began to monitor people coming from China for signs of infections. On January 30th, the World Health Organization declared this new coronavirus to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Also, on January 30th, the State Department issued a Level 4: Do No Travel advisory asking all citizens to avoid travel to China and those in the country to depart immediately.
Our neighbors in Downingtown, many have some questions about the coronavirus. Below are some common questions and answers to them. This page will be kept up to date as best as possible but is not updated in real-time.
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This page was lasted updated on 2/3/20
Are there any confirmed cases in Downingtown, PA?
Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States have been reported but there are none in Downingtown, Chester County, or in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Health officials are testing several people in the tri-state area, but thus far, all tests have returned a negative result. Screening is taking place at the Philadelphia International Airport.
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus? How long do they take to appear?
This coronavirus shares many symptoms of the flu, a common cold, or a regular upper respiratory infection. These symptoms include:
- Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
- Muscle Pain
This coronavirus, however, can develop severe complications, including:
- Fever of over 100.4F
- Trouble Breathing
While it isn’t known for sure how long symptoms take to appear, doctors agree they generally appear within two to fourteen days after infection. Some information indicates that some who are infected might not even show any symptoms, but still may be contagious.
Can I be tested for a 2019-nCov infection at AFC Urgent Care Downingtown?
While testing kits are in development, only the CDC can accurately test for the 2019-nCov infection at this time. If there is a suspected case, samples are sent there for testing.
Is there a vaccine for 2019-nCov?
Although one is in the early stages of development, there is no vaccine for this virus currently. If you had a flu shot this year, it would not protect you from the 2019-nCov virus. A vaccine likely will not be ready for months or even years.
How does someone become infected from 2019-nCov?
This virus originated from an animal that remains unidentified at the moment. However, one can become infected by person to person transmission. This virus is considered to be quite contagious.
I don’t feel well, and I have some of these symptoms. Am I infected? What are the risk factors for the 2019-nCov coronavirus?
Don’t panic. Chances are you are not infected with 2019-nCov coronavirus. We are still in the middle of the flu season, and you are likely just suffering from a normal cold or flu. There is, at this time, low risk for infection unless you have increased risk factors. Those current risk factors are:
- Traveling from China within the last 14 days, especially from Wuhan City.
- Contact with someone who has traveled from or through China in the last 14 days.
If either of these conditions is accurate, and you are showing the symptoms mentioned above, then immediately contact our urgent care center. Speak with our receptionist about your symptoms and concerns that you may be infected with the virus. As an urgent care center, we always welcome walk-ins. However, given the highly contagious nature of this infection, we do ask you to call ahead so we can prepare for your arrival. We need to prepare for your arrival to protect our other patients, the staff, and the public health.
How can I prevent an infection from 2019-nCov?
The guidelines for preventing the flu can be used to protect you from the 2019-nCov. These guidelines are:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching surfaces and then your face
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
- Cover your nose and mouth if you feel sick
For additional protection
- Avoid live animal markets
- Cook food thoroughly
- Wear a surgical mask
Is the coronavirus related to SARS or MERS? Why is it called 2019-nCov?
Other coronaviruses can affect humans. Two recent outbreaks of coronaviruses include SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.) Both of these outbreaks were caused by a coronavirus. SARS is thought to be more closely related to 2019-nCov than it is to MERS. SARS also first originated in Asia, while MERS was first seen in Saudi Arabia.
2019-nCov is currently assigned to this virus due to changes in how new infections are named. “2019” represents the year it was first detected, and “nCov” stands for “Novel Coronavirus.” “Noel” is used because it looks like no other virus ever seen before. World Health Organization officials changed the way infections are named to avoid misinformation or fear. They no longer name things like Lyme Disease, named after a town, or Legionnaires Disease, named after convention when it first infected people. This name may be updated in the future, but the name will reflect the seasonality, symptoms, and or severity of the infection.
AFC Urgent Care’s walk-in clinic in Downingtown is up to date with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease control. Do you have questions about the coronavirus? Feel free to call if you have any questions!