Novel Coronavirus

Novel Coronavirus

Updated February 13, 2020

A new coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China in December of 2019 and is currently referred to as 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. There have been coronaviruses that have caused more severe illness, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). 2019 novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that had not been seen in humans prior to December, 2019.

On January 21st, 2020, the Washington Department of Health announced the first case in the United States of 2019 COVID-19 in a resident of Snohomish County, WA who had traveled to Wuhan recently. At this time, the risk to the general public is considered to be low, given that there is only one case identified in Washington and there is not yet evidence of sustained person to person transmission.

As with any newly emerging infectious disease, knowledge evolves with time. Early on, it is difficult to know the source of the disease, the ways in which it spreads and how effectively it spreads from person to person, and the spectrum of illness – how severe the infection is. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

Resources for the general public

Public Health - Idaho North Central District public press releases:

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Public Health Insider Blog:

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CDC Resources:

Other Resources:

Resources for health care professionals


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All information is general in nature and is not intended to be used as a substitute for appropriate professional advice.

For more information please call (208) 799-3100 or Idaho Careline: 211.

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