By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – The Centers for Disease Control has raised its travel notice for Wuhan, China to the highest level because of an outbreak of the coronavirus. The virus has already killed at least 25 people in China and more than 800 people are sick.

Dr. Mallika Marshall says there are other coronaviruses, but this one is dangerous because it is new.

Health officials are trying to figure out how contagious it is, and are trying to develop a vaccine against it, but it takes time.

Symptoms are similar to a respiratory infection and include fever, runny nose and cough. It can progress quickly to a severe pneumonia-like illness with shortness of breath and trouble breathing.

READ: CDC On Coronavirus

The elderly and younger people with underlying medical conditions seem most at risk.

While the coronavirus is spreading fast, flu is the bigger worry in the U.S.

READ: First Pediatric Flu Death In Mass.

So far, there has only been one documented case of coronavirus in the U.S. There certainly may be others, but right now, the bigger threat is the flu, which so far, according to the CDC, has sickened about 13 million Americans so far this season and has killed thousands.

The flu and coronaviruses are thought to be spread in a similar fashion through infected respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes.

You can significantly reduce your chances of getting the flu by getting vaccinated. To protect yourself from both viruses, avoid contact with people with a fever and cough, wash your hands, use hand sanitizers, and don’t touch your hands to your eyes or nose.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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