VHA National Novel Coronavirus Update for February 11, 2020 - Durham VA Health Care System
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Durham VA Health Care System

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VHA National Novel Coronavirus Update for February 11, 2020

February 11, 2020

VA is working closely with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners, monitoring an outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 
Veterans and staff are encouraged to take everyday preventive actions to avoid being exposed to the virus.  

Precautions to take
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the 2019-nCoV infection and no medication to treat it. CDC believes symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure. These basic health measures can reduce the spread of infection.  

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 An easy way to mark the time is to hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice while scrubbing.  
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick or becoming sick 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (not your hands) and throw the tissue in the trash 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces 
  • Getting a flu shot is recommended 

Precautions to take when traveling
The U.S. government has imposed travel restrictions for all non-essential travel to China. Additionally, U.S. citizens returning from the region will undergo enhanced screening procedures. Generally, foreign nationals (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents and flight crew) who have traveled in China within 14 days of their arrival, will be denied entry into the U.S. If you have international travel plans, review this specific guidance for travelers.*   

What to do if you have symptoms
If you have both,

  • symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath
  • you have recently returned from China
  • exposure to someone who has been diagnosed with 201-nCoV

Call before visiting your local VA medical center to seek care. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

To avoid spreading the virus to others, follow the precautions listed above.