Infections with Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States. The first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread of this virus within the U.S. was reported on January 30, 2020. Click to follow monitoring of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases in the U.S.
Protect your business and employees by understanding the threat of the coronavirus and knowing how to prevent exposure.
Coronavirus Transmission – Route, Risk, & Prevention
The following guidelines for 2019-nCoV are largely based on current knowledge about similar coronaviruses.
Rarely, animal coronaviruses infect people and then spread from person-to-person through close contact (6ft. or less) via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is currently unclear if touching a contaminated surface is a mode of transmission.
Typically, people are contagious when most symptomatic and risk of person-to-person transmission is dependent on exposure. Those at increased risk of infection will most likely be healthcare workers caring for 2019-nCoV patients and others in close contact with infected individuals. United States health officials express there is no evidence to support the transmission of the new coronavirus through imported goods.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection, therefore the best way to prevent infection is to practice exposure avoidance strategies, including:
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water, lasting at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If that is not possible, monitor symptoms closely – both your own as well as those of people with whom you are in close contact. Seek medical evaluation right away for respiratory infection symptoms.
- Stay home and away from the public when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Thoroughly cook meat and eggs before consuming.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid nonessential travel to China, and monitor contact with those who have recently traveled from China.
- Contact your local health department for further guidance if you know that someone you have been in close contact with at work, home, or in the community has been diagnosed with a coronavirus infection.
Pay close attention to the impact of this threat on your employees. Identify who may be at highest risk, provide awareness information of the virus, and plan for next steps. As the virus spreads, you may need to revisit your plan of action with key stakeholders or suppliers based on applicable risk.