FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Coronavirus, Public Health Education, and Infection Prevention
Wickenburg Community Hospital and Clinics’ continuing education of staff and patients on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is led by Karen Smith, RN, Manager of Infection Prevention. Among the first educational nuances provided by Smith is to ensure all information sources are credible. Individuals should not rely on every article published about the virus to contain the most accurate information. Smith states, “The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as State Departments of Heath, are the most reliable resources.”
Arizona’s Department of Health Services Director, Cara M. Christ, MD, describes 2019-nCoV as, “a respiratory disease that can cause symptoms ranging from mild cold-like to severe pneumonia.” Christ also states, “While only one case has been reported in Arizona in an individual who has since recovered, we expect more cases will occur here in the future.” For this reason, and with the influenza cases this state continues to see, all citizens should continue to use best practices in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses.
These practices include: washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer), avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you are sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash, as well as clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. You may visit azhealth.gov/coronavirus for more information on the outbreak.
Most 2019-nCoV cases are related to having visited Wuhan, China and the Princess Cruise Ship. The CDC has issued recommendations to avoid travel to mainland China, South Korea, and reconsider cruise ship travel to or within Asia. Country-specific travel health notices for coronavirus have been posted on their website (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel).
Health officials are still working to identify how infectious this specific disease is but knowing that we have flu prevalent in our community, it is always a good idea to take precautions and to make sure that you are vaccinated. If you are concerned about symptoms you may be experiencing, please discuss them with your primary care provider.