Dear FHCB Patient,

A new coronavirus called 2019 Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 was first found in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This virus had not been found in humans before. This coronavirus can lead to fever, cough, and trouble breathing or shortness of breath. There are thousands of diagnosed cases in China and new cases being diagnosed in a number of countries including the United States.

What do we know?

Since this virus is very new, health officials continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working hard to learn as much as possible about this new virus, so that we can better understand how it spreads and causes illness. The CDC considers this virus to be a serious public health concern.

How Does 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus Spread?

Health experts believe the virus probably spreads from animals to humans and from person to person in a fashion similar to the cold or flu. Although there have been four cases in Maryland, COVID-19 is not currently a concern for the general public and is not actively circulating among Marylanders at this time. Therefore, there is no need to cancel school or social events, and there is no need for you to wear surgical masks unless you are ill.

Prevention

There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. The Maryland Department of Health recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all travel to China.

Symptoms

COVID-19 causes mild-to-moderate illness and symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Important Health Information for Those Who Have Symptoms

  • Seek medical care right away. Call ahead and tell them about your symptoms to ensure you present to the correct facility.
  • Avoid contact with others
  • Stay home, except for seeking medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Contact your local health department

This is an emerging, rapidly changing situation. We at Family Health Centers of Baltimore encourage you to keep up to date about COVID-19, its treatment and prevention by visiting CDC’s dedicated COVID-19 website at:

https://www.cdc.gov/nCoV

Best in Health to You and Your Family,

Dr. Janis Green
Chief Medical Officer
Family Health Centers of Baltimore

Barbara Lassiter
Director of Quality and Risk Management
Family Health Centers of Baltimore

CategoryGeneral Health, News
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