UMass Memorial continues to monitor the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and is ready to respond to any cases in our area. At present, the information on this virus is changing on a daily basis. The vast majority of the more than 76,000 cases worldwide continue to be in China. While there was one confirmed case in Massachusetts, the risk of this infection in Massachusetts remains extremely low. Currently, only 15 cases have been confirmed in the United States.
The infection can vary in severity from being asymptomatic to having only a mild illness that can be managed at home, to severe disease requiring hospitalization. According to the World Health Organization, symptoms of the coronavirus can include:
- Respiratory symptoms
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
People who have been exposed may not exhibit symptoms for up to 14 days. If you’re experiencing any symptoms, please call your health care provider immediately.
We also are currently experiencing a large number of flu cases in our area. Influenza (also known as “flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of the flu include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Vomiting and diarrhea for some, though this is more common in children than adults
Both the coronavirus and the flu can be prevented. For the flu, its important to get vaccinated. There is currently no vaccination for the coronavirus. It's also important you make every effort to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses by:
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water
- Staying home when you’re sick
- Covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Avoiding close contact with those who are sick
- Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that you touch frequently
Information from Health Care Organizations and Agencies
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Geographical Distribution of 2019-nCov Cases