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2019 novel coronavirus / COVID-19

February 12, 2020

Cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV), are now in the United States. Despite this, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 to the general American public is considered low at this time.

Coronavirus usually causes an upper respiratory tract illness like the common cold. The new strain is associated with cases of pneumonia in China, according to the CDC.

It’s still cold and flu season, and the same practices that stop the spread of these common illnesses are recommended:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch.

There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. Most infected people will recover on their own. If you or a family member have traveled recently to an area of risk and have symptoms of respiratory illness, you should call the advice number on the back of your Kaiser Permanente membership card for further instructions.

It’s important to call us before you come in. Calling ahead helps us direct you to the most appropriate care, and take precautions to protect other members, patients, and employees.

Visit the CDC website for the latest coronavirus information.