What to know about COVID-19

Health officials have identified a presumptive case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in Douglas County. In response to this news, and the growing number of cases in Oregon, we’d like to share some facts and information with the community.

  • COVID-19 is a 2019 strain of coronavirus, an infection caused by a group of viruses that exhibit a range of symptoms. In the case of COVID-19, many of these symptoms are severe.
  • The virus originated in China but spread rapidly to Iran, Italy, S. Korea, Iran and Japan. It is now widespread in France, Switzerland and Spain.
  • The highest concentrations of COVID-19 in the U.S have been in Seattle with increasing numbers in the Portland area. Douglas County now has some confirmed and presumptive cases, but the medical community is working closely with the Health Department to limit the spread in our community.
  • This is a droplet-spread virus and so the best protection is avoiding close contact with people who have  the virus, wear a mask if you are in close contact with individuals who are ill, and avoiding large crowds such as movie theaters and shopping malls.
  • The virus has about the same mortality rate as the Influenza A virus otherwise known as the flu. Like the flu, those hardest hit are the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. It seems to be less invasive in children.
  • Common symptoms include cough, fever and body ache. Shortness of breath can indicate a more severe case of the virus and may require medical intervention. Individuals with high fever and shortness of breath may need evaluation or admission at the hospital. However, even individuals with confirmed cases should remain at home, drink lots of fluids, get plenty of rest and avoid exposures to others.  At this time, there is no medical treatment other than supportive care for symptoms.
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