SARS-CoV-2 (Novel Coronavirus) is a virus strain that originated from China and traveled to the US from travelers from China and Europe. The disease contracted from the virus is COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019). It is of particular concern due to serious illness it can cause including pneumonia and death.
Health experts are still learning the details about how this new coronavirus spreads. In general, human coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands with viral load, touching an object or surface with the virus on it then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, and, in rare cases, contact with feces.
Individuals with underlying health conditions and of advanced age are particularly vulnerable to serious illness from the virus.
The following symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 and may be cause for heightened safety measures. A display of these symptoms as identified below is called “COVID-like illness” (CLI) until an official COVID-19 test and diagnosis is made.
Seek medical care immediately if someone has emergency warning signs of COVID-19:
- Trouble breathing / Shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your healthcare provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Local health jurisdictions do not report influenza cases. Washington State Dept. of Health has a weekly flu update here.
In our counties for the 2019-2020 flu season, there were 4 lab-confirmed flu deaths. There have been no flu deaths in our counties for the 2020-2021 flu season.
More information on influenza in our state can be found in the Influenza Surveillance Data from the Washington State Department of Health.
To avoid a twin-demic, everyone should consider the flu vaccine as essential this year. There is no shortage of flu vaccine. Vaccine can be received at your provider office and many pharmacies in the area.
For more information on flu, visit www.knockoutflu.org.