Coronavirus: Update

Coronavirus gets official name: COVID-19

(RxWiki News) Coronavirus continues to make headlines. And now it has an official name.

On Feb. 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the official name for coronavirus disease is COVID-19.

Cases of this disease, first detected in China, have been reported in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. As of the date of publication, there were 15 cases in the US.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the immediate risk to the American public is thought to be low.

There is currently not a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best thing to do is avoid being exposed to this virus, according to health officials.

It is currently flu and respiratory disease season, so the CDC continues to recommend the following to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Avoid being around people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your face — especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Recently, you might have noticed people wearing face masks in public. The CDC actually does not recommend that those who are not sick wear a face mask to protect against respiratory diseases like COVID-19. However, the CDC does recommend face masks for people who show symptoms of COVID-19. This will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.

Speak with your health care provider if you have any questions.

Written by Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS