The coronavirus has not been detected in New Mexico, but San Juan Regional Medical Center is screening patients who visit the emergency department and San Juan Health Partners Urgent Care for both lower respiratory symptoms and travel to China in the last 14 days as well as contact with someone who was recently in China.
Symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath.
Since the virus is known to spread rapidly from person to person, standard precautions are important, including: avoiding close contact with people who are sick; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; staying home when sick; covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash; and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask. A face mask should be used by people who show symptoms of coronavirus to protect others from getting infected.
Precautions also include washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If unable to wash, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Do not to come to the emergency department if well.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.