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Viruses Here, There and Everywhere: What you should know about the coronavirus in NC

As if we didn't have enough to worry about during the peak of flu season, a new type of cornonavirus (nCoV) has surfaced. I remember both SARS and the "Swine Flu" (H1N1) as a young adult and the associated global hysteria from it. In fact, my middle child ended up contracting the swine flu and we had him isolated on our third floor- masks, hand sanitizer, and Lysol at the bottom of the entrance to the loft- checking on him every hour and giving albuterol treatments for the wheezing. He's 16 now and as far as I know, there has been no negative effects on his health from it! 

This new strain, the novel coronavirus, is a type of zoonotic infection (passed from animals to humans) that produces flu-like symptoms in it's host. In the U.S. to date, there have been 5 confirmed cases with 92 tests pending. The confirmed cases were in Washington, California, Arizona and Illinois although the CDC reports 36 states currently have patients under investigation. What makes matters worse is that the spread of this virus is not fully understood. 

The World Health Organization is meeting again today to decide if they are going to declair a global health emergency. So far, 170 people have died and more than 7,700 people have been infected, leaving China with a deadlier outbreak than was caused by SARS in the early 2000s. As of January 29th, North Carolina still was reporting no documented cases.

If you have been exposed to the flu, or if you start developing flu symptoms - such as a runny nose, cough, fevers, chills and body aches- you should be evaluated as soon as possible. LoginClinics is able to diagnose flu-like symptoms and provide a prescription for Tamiflu or Xofluza and send it electronically to your pharmacy. We can also provide "post-exposure prophylaxsis" , meaning treatment for someone who has been exposed to the flu but does not have flu symptoms. And if you're just not sure, LoginClinics can do a Triage Visit.

As for the coronavirus? Time will tell what happens in the US, but for now, I'm wearing my mask anytime I go into a healthcare facility or on an airplane. I'm also praying that none of us will have to quarantine any of our loved ones in a third floor loft anytime soon. 

Jaclyn Qualter, Founder, Nurse Practitioner and Healthcare Mentor

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