What Nurses Need to Know About the Coronavirus

 In Nurses Weekly

You have been hearing about the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China for a few weeks and were probably not too worried until it was shown to be able to spread by person to person contact. Since December, the virus has spread to France, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.

How it Spreads

It is not fully known how coronaviruses are spread or if there will be a sustained person to person spread. Currently, China is reporting sustained person to person spread. In the United States there are no reports of sustained person to person spread, but if it does occur then it would be possible to see such cases in hospitals and clinics.


Symptoms may appear between two and 14 days after exposure. The most common symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Prevention and Treatment

The prevention recommendations at this time are the same as they would be for the flu or other respiratory illness:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if you haven’t washed your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Clean surfaces and things you touch often.
  • Treatment is supportive. There is no specific antiviral treatment at this time.
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