Coronavirus Update

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The 2019 novel coronavirus and its outbreak has people all over the world on high alert. Fortunately AFT-Maryland is the union for some of the best health care practitioners in the state. We reached out to Crystal Wright, a public health nurse and member of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Health Nurses, Local 5102 to find out what Marylanders in the Baltimore- metro area specifically need to know about the virus and to stay safe.

Q: Are there any cases of reported 2019 novel coronavirus in Maryland? 
According to the CDC, two suspected cases of coronavirus in Maryland were negative.  Maryland has no confirmed cases.

Q: If someone we know has it, what should we do?
If anyone is known to have the virus, they would likely be under quarantine until they are no longer susceptible to spreading the disease.  Anyone suspected of having the disease should seek IMMEDIATE care from a doctor, especially if they have come into close contact with someone from China.

Q: Is the coronavirus automatically fatal? 
The coronavirus is not automatically fatal. The coronavirus varies in severity from asymptomatic infection or mild illness to severe, or fatal illness.

Q: Are there steps we can take to prevent getting the coronavirus? 
The steps taken to prevent coronavirus are the same as with flu. Everyday preventive actions for this or any other airborne viruses include: avoiding contact with people that are known to be sick, frequently washing hands, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, covering coughs and/or sneezes, and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are frequently touched (such as TV remotes, door knobs, cabinet pulls, and countertops) frequently. Also if you are sick, stay home and contact a doctor for guidance.

Q: What do healthcare professionals know about it, that we the public should know? 
Because it's flu and respiratory disease season, everyone should get a flu vaccine and follow preventative actions to help avoid the spread of germs. The risk of getting the coronavirus is believed to be very low here in the United States at this time.

2020-02-10