What the US needs to know about the Wuhan coronavirus

There are now five confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus here in the United States. While the arrival of a new virus is never welcomed news, remember: The threat in the United States is low.
We are still getting more information about the five patients, but the one thing they all have in common is that they recently traveled to Wuhan, China. This means, as far as we know, there’s been no person-to-person transmission in this country. So if you have flu-like symptoms but have not traveled to Wuhan, China, recently or been in close contact with someone who has, you’re likely in the clear. However, if you do have concerns, do not hesitate to contact your local health care provider.
Right now the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is continuing to test other potential cases, working to make testing for the virus easier, and has now implemented screenings at 20 different US airports. “We need to be preparing as if this is a pandemic, but I continue to hope that it is not,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
One thing we shouldn’t forget is that the US is still in the middle of flu season and that has affected far more Americans than the Wuhan coronavirus. The CDC estimates there have been at least 15 million flu illnesses and more than 8,000 deaths so far this flu season.
It’s still not too late to get your flu shot and practice those simple things we learned in grade school, like washing our hands and covering our mouths when we cough. They are really key to avoiding these infections.