What is COVID-19?

Things you need to know about Coronavirus

7 Things You Need to Know about the Coronavirus


"The health and safety of our members is always our top priority," said Dr. Von Nguyen, Vice President of Clinical Operations and Innovations at Blue Cross NC. "By taking these steps we are helping our members stay home if need be with the goal of keeping them and others well. If you have concerns about whether you have been exposed, please call your primary care doctor."

In his prior job, Dr. Nguyen was part of the CDC teams responding to Cholera, Zika, MERS, and fungal meningitis. In the video below, Dr. Nguyen answers questions about preparing, preventing, and seeking treatment for the Coronavirus.

How High is Your Risk?

How High is Your Risk

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

How is the virus transmitted?

The illness has caused pneumonia that can be severe especially for people with a weakened immune system, the elderly, or those with underlying respiratory problems. 

Currently, there are no antiviral medications or vaccinations against this virus. This virus is transmitted by respiratory secretions, such as sneezing or coughing. 

Avoidance of sick people and hand washing is your best prevention.  More will be learned about this virus as this outbreak evolves.

What precautions should I take?

The CDC suggests the following precautions for anyone traveling to an area where coronavirus is prevalent:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

This outbreak is evolving rapidly so we encourage you to check-in with the latest updates from the CDC. In addition, reference the updated CDC Travel Notice about this outbreak.  

Where and how did the virus originate?

The Coronavirus spread began in Wuhan province in China in December 2019, infecting tens of thousands of residents resulting in over 2000 deaths.  It has since spread to other countries, including the US.

Air travel and public transportation in and out of these cities have been shut down. The Center for Disease Control has advised avoiding non-essential travel to these areas.

Anyone who has returned from an affected area, such as Italy, South Korea, or China within the past 14 days and is sick with fever and cough, or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care right away and call ahead to the doctor’s office to inform them of recent travel and symptoms.

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