Thank you for visiting Cooper University Health Care’s blog. To help you stay informed about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and also to learn what you can do to stay healthy, we have provided the below information.
If you believe, based upon the below information, you need to see a physician for coronavirus (COVID-19), please call Cooper’s main number 800.826.6737 before going to your doctor, an urgent care, or the hospital emergency department for assistance.
There are no cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at any Cooper facility. However, there are reported cases of elsewhere in New Jersey. Please check the NJ Department of Health website here for the latest information.
The best way to prevent infection from any virus, including the flu, is to:
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing cough (or cough or sneeze into your upper arm, if no tissue is available).
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the coronavirus outbreak. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a new coronavirus that has not previously been seen.
Who is at risk for coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Currently, those at greatest risk of infection are persons who have had prolonged, unprotected close contact with a patient with symptomatic, confirmed COVID-19. Close contact is defined by the CDC as:
(a) being within approximately six feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case; or
(b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (such as being coughed or sneezed on).
Similar to the flu, people who are older than 65, or have chronic illnesses or a weak immune system are more vulnerable to be infected by COVID-19.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Is there a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19)?
While there is currently no vaccine available for COVID-19, several are being tested. At this time, doctors and APNs can recommend typical remedies for any viral illness: rest, medicine to reduce pain and fever, and fluids to avoid dehydration. COVID-19 patients with pneumonia may also need oxygen, and a ventilator if breathing trouble worsens.
How does coronavirus (COVID-19) compare to the flu?
It is also important to keep this new infectious threat in proper perspective. Although this is potentially a serious public health threat that we are watching very closely, we would like to remind everyone about the very active flu season we are currently experiencing in New Jersey and across the region and of the dangers the flu poses to our communities. Indeed, the flu has already killed far more people in the United States just this season than this novel COVID-19 has killed worldwide. If you have not received a flu shot, please do so soon. The more people who are vaccinated against the flu will mean fewer cases of influenza, and will result in more lives saved.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a good up-to-date resource (cdc.gov) on the coronavirus (COVID-19), particularly as it relates to travel and geographic locations that are experiencing high incidence of the virus.