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Published On: Fri, Dec 21st, 2012

CDC says risk of new coronavirus in travelers is low, offers recommendations

Image/W123 at Wikimedia Commons

Image/W123 at Wikimedia Commons

With at least nine cases of the novel coronavirus confirmed in parts of the Middle East, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  issued a travel notice Thursday with recommendations on protecting against the virus.

The disease has been confirmed in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan. Five of the nine cases ended in death.

The CDC does say that the risk of the new coronavirus for travelers is thought to be low. CDC recommends that travelers to countries on the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries monitor their health and see a doctor right away if symptoms such as cough, breathing difficulties, and fever develop.

Not much is known about how easy or difficult it is the contract this virus.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which are known to cause illness in humans and animals. This novel strain has never previously been detected in humans or animals.

Symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus have been acute, serious respiratory illness, which presented with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.

The CDC recommends that travelers to the Arabian Peninsula take the following precautions ( same as for flu) to prevent contracting this virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use analcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • There is no vaccine for this new coronavirus, but there are shots available to protect you from other illnesses. Be sure you are up to date with all of your shots, and see your healthcare provider at least 4 to 6 weeks if possible before travel to get any additional shots. Visit CDC’sCoronavirus website for more information about this situation and Travelers’ Health website for more information on healthy travel.
  • This new coronavirus causes a respiratory infection that may be confused with influenza. It is therefore especially important to get a flu vaccine as this will help your doctor look for other causes for your illness should you develop any flu-like symptoms.
  • If you are sick
    • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Avoid contact with other people to keep from infecting them.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He regularly writes about infectious disease news for Examiner.com and administers the Outbreak News section of The Global Dispatch.

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