What you need to know about coronavirus

The strain of coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, China last month is known as the “novel coronavirus,” with “novel” meaning “new.”

Other types of coronaviruses, which are respiratory syndromes, have been around for decades and experts say that just about everyone has had a strain of coronavirus at least once in their life, usually as a young child.

Moreover, this is not the first train to capture headlines worldwide.

“We’ve had SARS, we’ve had MERS, they were much more scary than this particular novel virus which is no more scary than seasonal influenza and influenza is here right now in New York City, get your flu shot,” said Dr. Len Horovitz, internist and pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital.

A coronavirus causes an infection in your nose, sinuses and upper throat, and are most common in the fall and winter. 

“The good news is that the average healthy person, even if they get it, they’re probably going to do just fine, just like with the cold or the flu, the ones we worry about are the kids under two or people older than 65 or anyone who has some type of immune deficiency,” said Dr. Cathy Ward, M.D. of Big Apple Pediatrics. 

There have been several reported cases of coronavirus in our area, but it is not the strain from china but instead, the common cold. Experts say the most important thing is to wash your hands, not to touch your face and to get a flu shot. 


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