Coronavirus: What to know, how to prevent getting it

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –The virus that has most worried around the country is the coronavirus.

“It’s a new novel coronavirus has been a couple of those of the last 20 years SARS, MERS,” said Dr. Jeff Stephens at Medical Center, Navicent Health.

The new virus began in China and can be found among animals. That’s usually how it’s transmitted, much like SARS. But in the most recent U.S. cases, Dr. Stephens says the virus is being spread from person to person.

“Most likely would be respiratory spread,” added the doctor.

Medical experts say there are about 100 coronaviruses. Much of those are the cause of a common cold.

“You can have fever,” explained Dr. Joanne Kennedy at Medical Center, Navicent Health. “Typically last somewhere in the range of 3 to 7 days.”

The coronavirus that we are experiencing in the states is of a different strain than the one coming out of China.

“And the routine tests that we do currently takes out the more common strains of the coronavirus,” shared Dr. Kennedy. “We don’t want people to be alarmed if they test positive on the viral respiratory screening because that is not this new strain.”

Dr. Kennedy says you can’t treat most viruses, but there are some things you can do to prevent getting it.

”Of course good hand-washing always, and if you are with a patient who is sick or visiting a patient in the hospital and their in isolation. Please put a mask on if your told to do so or a gown and gloves if you’re instructed to.”

As of now, the CDC is screening travelers from Wuhan, China, at several us airports including Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Screenings began last week.

Doctors are urging residents who may have traveled internationally within the last 3 weeks to get a screening.