Corona Virus Flu Season
Corona Virus Flu Season

What You Should Know About the Novel Coronavirus 2019

Feb 27, 2020

In light of recent concern within our community regarding the novel coronavirus, SRMT Health Services would like to take a moment to address the growing concern and provide answers to frequently asked questions. As with all things, it is normal for there to be concern when something new arises, especially when it effects our health. We want to reassure the community that we are here for support.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is a novel coronavirus & where did it come from?
    1. A new strain of coronavirus that had not been previously identified.
    2. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people.
  • How does the virus causing Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) spread?
    1. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now being spread person to person. Currently it is unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.

  • Can someone who has had COVID-19 spread the illness to others?
    1. Yes. The patient should be isolated until they meet all of the following: the patient is free from fever without fever-reducing medications, the patient is no longer showing symptoms including cough and they have tested negative on at least 2 consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

  • How do I help prevent spread?
    1. Visit the COVID-19 prevention and treatment page at the CDC website
    2. General precautions include proper hand hygiene, wearing a mask when you have a cough, maintain 6 feet between yourself and someone else who is cough and staying home from work or school when you are ill.
  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
    1. Mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
  • Should I be tested for COVID-19
    1. If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or shortness of breath within 14 days after travel from China, you should call ahead to your healthcare provider. If you have had contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from this area you should also call ahead to your provider. Your healthcare provider will work with NYS public health department and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
  • How dangerous is the novel coronavirus?
    1. Right now there is about a 2% death rate, however we must remember that this compares confirmed cases to deaths. There are likely many cases that have gone undiagnosed and thus the death rate is likely lower.
    2. For comparison: the death rate from the flu is about 0.1% and the death rate from SARS was 10%
    3. It is important to keep in mind that we will see more cases in the US, but for the vast MAJORITY of people it is going to be a mild illness.

For more information and updates, please visit the CDC’s website for updates at, as well as the IHS website at for information specific for Indian Country.

To contact SRMT Health Services, please call (518) 358-3141.