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Old 01-24-2020, 01:25 PM
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Unhappy What is coronavirus and what precautions should people in the Chicago area be taking?


What is coronavirus and what precautions should people in the Chicago area be taking?

By Madeline Buckley Chicago Tribune | Jan 24, 2020 | 1:18 PM

An outbreak of hundreds of cases of coronavirus has resulted in 26 deaths and travel restrictions that are impacting millions of people in China.

Now, the second case of the respiratory illness in the United States has been confirmed to be in Chicago.

A Chicago woman in her 60s who returned from a visit to China earlier this month has been diagnosed with the virus. The woman had traveled to Wuhan, China, the center of the outbreak, in late December and returned to the city Jan. 13. Earlier this week, a man in his 30s was diagnosed in Washington state after traveling to the same region as the woman.
With the virus hitting close to home, what can people in the Chicago area do to stay healthy?

What we know so far about the coronavirus in Illinois »

What is coronavirus?

Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world, causing respiratory illnesses that result in runny noses, sore throats and coughs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus family includes the common cold, as well as more serious illnesses such as SARS, which spread to dozens of countries, sickening more than 8,000 and killing 774 people before it was contained in 2003, according to the CDC. Also in the virus family is MERS, a respiratory illness that emerged in 2012 and is associated with a high mortality rate.

Now, scientists have identified a new coronavirus that was first confirmed in Wuhan. It can cause a more severe illness than a typical cold, according to Michael Ison, a professor of infectious disease and organ transplantation at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

Chicago woman who traveled to China diagnosed with coronavirus, health officials say »
To try to contain the outbreak, the Chinese government has ordered a travel lockdown in central China after about 260 cases were identified in Wuhan. More than 800 people have been infected worldwide.

What are the symptoms?

The virus can result in a runny nose, sore throat and cough, experts say. It can develop into a fever and lung infection that causes shortness of breath. People should see a doctor if they experience a worsening cough, experts said.

“The illness can start like a regular cold. You feel crummy,” Ison said.

Dr. Trish Perl, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern, said patients have presented with fever, malaise and a dry cough.

Ison said there is a polymerase chain reaction test, or PCR test, available to identify the virus, but it is currently only available at the CDC.

So far, the fatality rate from the new virus is relatively low and usually confined to the elderly or those with underlying medical condition, Ison said, but he noted that could change as more cases emerge.

How likely are you to get it?

Experts say the likelihood of Chicagoans who haven’t recently traveled to China contracting the new virus is relatively low.

“We know how to control these viruses,” Perl said, though still cautioning that there is a lot scientists don’t yet know about the new virus. “There are control measures that people might find invasive, but really, we can control this.”

Earlier this week, O’Hare International Airport announced it would begin screening travelers from Wuhan for symptoms.

In regards to the Chicago woman with the virus, Ison said officials are undertaking “contact tracing," which means monitoring people who came in contact with her.

“Unless they get contacted by the health department, they have low to no risk of acquiring the infection.”

Still doctors remind people that it’s flu season, and they should be taking precautions to avoid contracting a wide variety of illnesses.

“Everyone is fixated on the coronavirus but there is a relatively low number of cases,” Ison said. “There have been thousands of deaths already this year of influenza.”

What precautions can you take?

Experts remind people to make sure they are frequently washing their hands and not going to work if they start to show symptoms — not just to ward off the new coronavirus, but also the more common flu and other viruses.

“Use of just simple masks reduces transmission,” Perl said.

Doctors also urged Chicagoans to make sure they get a flu shot.

“If they can continue doing simple things ... that’s going to help,” she said.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:50 PM
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Boats Boats is offline
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Arrow That's pretty scary

We've always know that these virus's transport from abroad in most cases. Screening in Chicago Airports is underway from any folks coming in from overseas. I suspect our environment is breeding new bugs at a regular bases. We've seen many in our American history - including our troops coming back home stateside some are or may be infected?
Transmittal of these critter's can mutate from airborne to touch or even on their clothing.

We don't need another SARS type infection flying across the states.


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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