Coronavirus: Who's At Risk

The risk to Georgians is very low. So far, the only people infected in the U.S. with the new virus have been those who have traveled to the region in China where the virus first turned up in humans or those who've had prolonged close contact with them.

You should be more concerned about influenza than this new coronavirus, according to health experts.

To date, there have been just 6 confirmed cases of this new coronavirus in the United States. In contrast, there have been at least 15-million flu illnesses reported in the United States since the start of flu season in October 2019. In addition, more than 150,000 Americans have been hospitalized, and more than 8,000 people have died from influenza. And, this isn't even a particularly bad flu year.

This new coronavirus is associated with mild-to-severe respiratory illness with fever and cough. At this time, the threat of contracting the virus in the United States is low, according to the CDC.

Health experts recommend washing your hands often and avoid sick people in an effort to protect yourself from any respiratory viruses.

In China, the situation is different. The coronavirus has already killed at least 171 people there and infected more than 8,200 since emerging less than a month ago.

The virus, which emerged Dec. 31, has already spread to more people than the 2003 SARS epidemic, which sickened roughly 8,100 people across the globe over nine months.

The source of the 2019-nCoV is suspected to be animals in an open-air market and is possibly a previously unrecognized bat coronavirus. It appears to cause a more severe illness than other viruses, progressing to pneumonia.

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