Dr. Weiss says that the most important thing to know about coronavirus is that it does not pose an immediate threat to families in the United States.
There have been only 5 confirmed cases in the United States as of today (1/30/2020) and all five are in people who recently traveled to China. Equally encouraging is the news that, as of yet, there has been no human to human spread of the virus in the US.
Unless you have been to China in the past few weeks or are presently in contact with someone who recently visited China, the risk of anyone in your family becoming infected with coronavirus illness is at the moment extremely remote, says the US Center for Disease Control.
The symptoms of coronavirus are very similar to those of the common cold (runny nose, cough, sore throat, muscle pain, fatigue, and fever). The best advice, according to Dr. Weiss, is to treat symptoms as needed using appropriate doses of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce fever and relieve aches. Cough and cold remedies, especially antihistamines and dextromethorphan (for coughs), are no longer recommended and should be avoided.
For more information about medicine dosages and treatment of colds and coughs, please check out the “Is Your Child Sick” app on our home page.
Using the same strategies, you would to avoid the spread of any virus makes good sense when it comes to coronavirus too. Wash hands with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, and avoid close contact with people who are sick. The one prevention strategy unique to coronavirus is to consider avoiding travel to affected areas.
If you’re interested in a more in-depth review of what we know about coronavirus right now, you might want to read this two part series, Are Your Children At Risk For Coronavirus, Part I and Corona Disease And Children, Part II
We expect that new information and recommendations will be updated frequently so stay tuned. We’ll be posting new evidenced-based information as it becomes available.