Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus and COVID-19: The Latest Updates

Updated: March 20, 2020 2 p.m.

The Medical Group of South Florida will post the latest news and updates on the new coronavirus and the condition it causes (COVID-19) on this page. Bookmark the page and refer back, especially for information related to telehealth’s role as a first line of defense for screening and treating cases of COVID-19.

The United States Coronavirus Outbreak:

Worldwide Coronavirus Outbreak: 

  • There are 156 countries reporting cases of the coronavirus infection. You can view a map here.
  • The following countries have restrictions on entry into the United States: China, Iran, most European countries, United Kingdom, and Ireland.
  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to the following countries: China, Iran, South Korea, most European countries, United Kingdom and Ireland.
  • CDC recommends that older adults or those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing travel.
  • To meet rising global demand, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the personal protective equipment industry must increase manufacturing by 40%. Shortages are leaving doctors, nurses, and other health professionals with limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, gowns, and more.
  • Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO stated that while the new coronavirus is capable of community transmission, it can be contained with the right measures. “There is no choice but to act now.”
  • The WHO has characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO stated, “This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled, at the same time.”
  • WHO, UN Foundation, and partners launch COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support the work of WHO and partners to help countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Together At Home, an ongoing virtual no-contact concert series that aims to promote physical distancing and taking action for global health, presented by WHO and Global Citizen, starts with Chris Martin and other musicians performing at home.
  • The OpenWHO online courses for COVID-19 provide free learning resources for health professionals, decision-makers, and the public.
  • WHO and partners have launched an international clinical trial, SOLIDARITY, with the goal of generating robust data from around the world to find the most effective treatments for COVID-19.

What to Do If You Feel Sick: 

If you’re sick or think that you may have come in contact with someone who is sick, there is little need to panic. Chances are you have the flu or a common cold. However, because the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can be similar, it’s important to see a doctor.

The Medical Group of South Florida’s doctors are prepared to screen for COVID-19. Online doctors can:

  • Assess your symptoms during a visit.
  • Discuss treatment plans and care options.
  • Refer you to in-person care if necessary.

Avoid traveling to the doctor’s office and exposing yourself to other germs by having a visit online. Telehealth allows you to seek medical attention from your home, which can reduce the chance of contracting and/or spreading illness.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus:

What is a coronavirus? Coronaviruses originate in animals and rarely spread to humans. Two well-known types of coronaviruses have infected humans and led to outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The current outbreak involves a new coronavirus that causes a condition called COVID-19.

Where did it appear first? The new coronavirus was identified in December 2019 as the cause of an outbreak of illness in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

What are the symptoms? COVID-19 symptoms typically include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

How does it spread? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still learning about how the new coronavirus spreads. Coronaviruses typically spread from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing, just like the flu.

How do you prevent it? The best ways to stay healthy are to cover your cough, avoid close contact with people who are sick, avoid handshakes or high fives, and wash your hands for 20 to 30 seconds with soap and water. If running water isn’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

How is it treated? Speak with a doctor immediately if you have a fever, trouble breathing, or flu-like symptoms.