- Author: Brian Oatman
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus named “2019-nCoV” that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Some infections with 2019-nCoV have been reported in the United States, in patients that had traveled from Wuhan, China. US health officials have established monitoring measures to identify travelers who have symptoms compatible with this infection and have a travel connection with China. Similarly, UC medical centers and health clinics have established screening protocols to identify people with symptoms and a recent travel history to affected areas. For up to date information from CDC, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html.
The outbreak of 2019-nCoV reminds us of the standard precautions recommended by the CDC that we all should take to prevent the spread of various respiratory viruses, including colds, flu or coronavirus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick; if you must be out and about, consider wearing a paper (“surgical”) mask and avoid close contact with others.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, cough into your sleeve (not your hands).
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
See UC ANR Risk & Safety Services Safety Note 151 for more information about preventing the spread of communicable diseases.
At this time, there are no special actions that you need to take regarding UC ANR operations or programs in response to this coronavirus outbreak. Staff at UCCE County offices or Research & Extension Centers should monitor and follow any guidance from your local public health officer. UC ANR Risk & Safety Services is coordinating with health & safety and emergency management professionals across the UC system and will provide additional updates as conditions warrant. Additional information and links will be posted on the Risk & Safety Services website here: http://safety.ucanr.edu/Programs/emergency/Current_Health_Alerts/
Since this outbreak is affecting international travel, it also serves as a reminder that it is important to register your international business travel with UCAway, in order to access features such as travel insurance, briefings on health, safety, and security, and real-time alerts. To make use of these services, be sure to register your trip and provide itineraries and contact details. Visit http://safety.ucanr.edu/Programs/Business_Travel/ to register your trip and find additional travel safety information.