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Coronavirus

January 28, 2020   |   By Mary Johnson

GreenField Clinician Alert and Guidance

Coronavirus Outbreak

GreenField Health is carefully monitoring the coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan City, China and now has reached the United States. Doctors have confirmed two cases in the U.S., neither in Oregon. Nevertheless, there is a good chance that the virus will continue to spread. We therefore encourage everyone to take reasonable precautions to protect themselves.

Coronavirus most commonly spreads from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing, through personal contact, or through touching an object or surface with the virus on it. The flu-like symptoms include runny nose, headache, fever, coughing and shortness of breath. If you exhibit symptoms, please contact GreenField Health immediately by calling (503) 292-9560.

Steps you can take to protect yourself and others include:

  • Cover your moth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay at home, including from work, while you are sick;
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

GreenField will continue to update you as this situation evolves.

Background

An outbreak of a novel coronavirus, currently referred to as 2019-nCoV, began in December. It has been connected to a live animal and seafood market in Wuhan City, China.  The outbreak expanded rapidly, including by person-to-person contact. At this time authorities are reporting more than 830 cases in China with 26 deaths. The mortality rate so far is about 2% to 3%. Deaths have primarily been among the elderly and people with fragile health, but at least one young, otherwise healthy man died in Wuhan. More than 8,000 people are under observation. The virus causes respiratory/influenza-like symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.

The virus has spread into other countries due to travel. The first confirmed case in the United States was an American who had returned from Wuhan to his home in Seattle the week of Jan. 13. The patient was hospitalized and diagnosed by our colleagues at Providence Everett Regional Medical Center. The hospital isolated the patient during to prevent the virus from spreading. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday confirmed a second case in Chicago and there are currently 5 total cases in the US as of January 27, 2020.

Medical officials have also confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Korea, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Because we are in the midst of cold and flu season as well as the Lunar New Year, containment of the virus is especially challenging. The New Year is a time of increased travel activity for celebrants. Authorities in China have imposed a travel ban in the area of Wuhan, including the nearby cities of Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi and Zhijian. It now affects tens of millions of people.