Infectious diseases

Novel coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually only cause mild respiratory disease, like the common cold. Two previously identified coronaviruses — Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) — have been more severe. This novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus. Current information suggests it is not as severe as MERS or SARS. On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization declared Novel Coronavirus outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat, and general feeling of illness. Young people, senior citizens, and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems may be at increased risk of severe disease. WSNA is taking part in the multi-agency public response established by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). This has included webinars, phone conferences, and ongoing information sharing.


Resources

Washington State Department of Health call center and website

The DOH has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call the DOH at 1-800-525-0127 and press #. Additional information is also available on the website, which is updated daily with data on confirmed cases and persons under investigation (PUIs).

Resources suggested by the American Nurses Association

The American Nurses Association (ANA) affirms the current CDC Guidelines on the interim guidance for healthcare professionals as the CDC continues to monitor the on-going outbreak of 2019-nCoV and supports ongoing efforts in the research and development of diagnostic criteria and tools, therapeutic treatment, and prevention to minimize further risk to the global population’s health. As the situation with 2019-nCoV continues to evolve, the ANA suggests the following resources for nurses and healthcare providers:

- ANA talking points

- Center for Disease Control (CDC) checklist on healthcare provider preparedness

- CDC checklist on hospital preparedness

WSNA FAQ

WSNA prepared an FAQ on novel coronavirus on Feb. 4.


Coronavirus updates

FAQ on Novel Coronavirus (02/04/20)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually only cause mild respiratory disease, like the common cold. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat, and general feeling of illness. At this time, it is has not reached epidemic or pandemic status.

Influenza

Registered nurses are on the front lines of our health care system and play a critical role in preventing and treating the spread of influenza. As the most trusted health professionals in the nation, you can have a positive impact on the health of our communities and keep our state’s influenza levels low.

A flu vaccine recommendation and offer from you makes a huge difference. Yearly flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. It is especially important for those at high risk for flu-related complications. Consider getting vaccinated to protect yourself and others from the flu and remind patients to get a flu shot. CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions (like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent hand washing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses, like flu.


Resources

For recent updated information and guidance from the Washington State Department of Health and CDC:

- DOH flu updates

- DOH flu information

- CDC flu information


Influenza updates