There’s never a dull day in public health! Things are changing all the time– from new interventions to help folks stay or be more healthy to the discovery of a new virus. Recently, folks on the other side of the world documented a new Coronavirus that can be transmitted person to person. It was first discovered last September when doctors were looking into the death of a man in Saudi Arabia – since then, 15 cases have been laboratory confirmed. All the cases of this virus have ties to the Middle East – either through travel or contact with someone who travelled there. The CDC updated its treatment protocol to include questions about travel to the Mid-East for people who develop a severe, acute lower respiratory infection.

This Coronavirus causes a lower respiratory infection and is pretty strong, 9 of the 15 people who contracted it – died… but in general the Coronavirus is pretty fragile and many of us catch and defeat the virus in our lifetime. It only lives outside of a body for about 24 hours. Human Coronaviruses were first discovered in the 1960’s and they have their name because of the crown like spikes on the surface. One of the most notable Coronaviruses is SARS which hit the world with a splash when it first appeared in 2003. No documented SARS cases have been seen since 2004.