The United States Department of Health and Senior Services and the Center for Disease Control are currently responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
As global response to this disease continues, we want to provide you with some information about the virus and some tips to help you avoid both COVID-19 and other forms of infection.
For the next 8 weeks, the CDC recommends avoiding or cancelling all events of 50 or more people. Ongoing guidance recommends that, in areas where there is even minimal COVID-19 exposure, events likely to include 10 or more people at high-risk for serious issues should be canceled. People at higher risk include older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions such as lung and heart disease, as well as diabetes.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is operating a hotline for residents and health care providers to call for information and guidance about COVID-19. The statewide hotline number is 877-435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
CDC and state and local public health laboratories are testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. View CDC’s Public Health Laboratory Testing map. View information about COVID-19 Testing Reported to Missouri DHSS.
Here are some tips from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services about how to avoid the disease and prevent its spread. More information about preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through: The air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands and rarely, fecal contamination.
To avoid the disease:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Avoid close contact with others
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
• Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:
• Shortness of breath
If you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, call your health care professional. It is critical that your provider is aware that you may have COVID-19 prior to your arrival at a healthcare facility and that you follow all instructions for arriving at a healthcare facility.
If you have been notified by public health authorities that you might have been exposed, follow instructions provided by your local health department.
Learn more about the symptoms of COVID-19
There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms, including:
• Take pain and fever medications (caution: do not give aspirin to children)
• Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough
• If you are mildly sick, you should drink plenty of liquids, stay home and rest.
View latest case counts, deaths, and a map of states with reported cases.