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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a respiratory virus ﬁrst identiﬁed in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This is a new virus that hasn’t caused illness in humans before.
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Yes. There are conﬁrmed cases in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is keeping track of how many at this website: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cas-es-in-us.html
The Maryland Department of Health is keeping a current list of conﬁrmed cases in the state at this webpage: https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Pages/Novel-coronavirus.aspx
For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from coronavirus is low. Globally, the CDC says the potential public health threat posed by this coronavirus is high. Strong public health measures now may slow down the impact of the virus in the U.S. later.
Current understanding about how the virus spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person in the following ways:
The CDC does not recommend people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A face mask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected.
Take everyday preventive steps that are always recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds, ﬂu, and this virus:
Continue to monitor the Health Department’s coronavirus webpage (health.mypgc.us/coronavirus) as well as the coronavirus webpages for the Maryland Department of Health (health.maryland.gov/coronavirus) and the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/).