Dear Parent

You will be aware from extensive media coverage in recent days, that Chinese and global health authorities are working together to contain an outbreak of a new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).  This is one of a family of viruses which can cause illness ranging from the common cold at one end of the severity spectrum, to serious global pandemics at the other.  It is too early to predict the severity or potential for further spread of 2019-nCoV, but the situation is evolving rapidly and additional cases in new areas are expected in the foreseeable future. Kindly find detailed information on the Coronavirus to keep you and your loved ones safe.

 

Health Advisory for Coronavirus

  • Travelers to China, as well as those traveling throughout areas in Asia for the Lunar New Year should take precautions to prevent illness:
    • Avoid contact with others who are ill with fever or cough.
    • Wash hands frequently (and before eating) with soap and water for 20 seconds. If no soap is available use an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
    • Avoid "wet" markets, live animal markets, or contact with farm or wild animals.
    • Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
  • Those who are sick, especially with fever, cough, or respiratory illness should NOT travel and should seek medical care. Anyone traveling while ill may be subject to screening at the airport and may be quarantined.
  • Those with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should avoid others and practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands), and seek medical care.
    • For individuals from affected areas who are sick with respiratory illness and may need to go out in public (e.g. to a medical appointment), face masks are recommended to prevent infection of others.
    • Caregivers of those from affected areas who are sick with respiratory illness should follow CDC guidance for preventing spread of illness or becoming ill themselves.
  • Travelers returning from Wuhan and other areas in China should monitor their temperature for fever (38 C or 100.4 F) and be aware of other symptoms of illness such as cough or shortness of breath for 14 days after return. If any these symptoms develop, contact your doctor or medical center and inform them of your symptoms and travel history, so you can receive instructions on where/how to receive medical review without exposing others. Those who are ill should detail their travel history to their treating medical provider.

Symptoms

Primary symptoms are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, though patients may have varying degrees of these symptoms. While the incubation period is thought to be between 2 and 14 days, much remains unknown about the virus, including the original source and how easily it is transmitted.

Screening of Travelers

Travelers from Wuhan/China may be subject to enhanced screening measures when entering other countries. The United States has activated screening at 5 airports: San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX), Atlanta (ATL), and Chicago (ORD).

Although screening is not yet taking place in Washington, DC, points of entry, that could change at any time.

In most cases screening will consist of temperature scan and questions regarding travel destinations and history, with referral to local public health authorities for further follow up if screening is positive. To avoid complications or delays from screening, staff who are ill, especially with fever or respiratory symptoms, should seek medical assistance before further travel.