Coronavirus: What you need to know

What is the Novel Coronavirus?

The Novel Coronavirus is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread person-to-person.  The virus originated in China and has spread to the United States and other parts of the world.  The World Health Organization has declared this coronavirus a global public health emergency.


Coronovirus symptoms include fever (not always present), cough and shortness of breath.  Symptoms develop within 2 days to 2 weeks after exposure.  If you have these and traveled to China in the past few weeks, or were exposed to someone who was there or has the virus, contact your healthcare provider right away.  Click here if you need a primary care provider or pediatrician for your child.

How is it spread?

  • Through the air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes

Who is most at risk for severe symptoms?

  • People over the age of 60
  • Those with other health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or lung infections

How to Protect Yourself

  • Wash your hands – thoroughly and often
  • Clean and disinfect household objects and surfaces
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Cough/sneeze into your arm or elbow
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid others
  • Avoid traveling to areas where coronavirus is spreading

Keep in Mind:

The virus has sickened thousands and led to hundreds of deaths, mostly in China.  Scientists are racing to develop a vaccine.  So far, the risk of catching the virus in the U.S. is low, since the number of cases is relatively low but that can change with time.

Stay informed!

Infectious disease experts are closely monitoring the coronavirus and its spread.  Information is updated frequently with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the SC DHEC.  Here are a few links to help you stay informed:


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