I’m sick. Is it a cold, flu or the new virus?

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Lisa Krieger Con­tact re­porter Lisa Krieger at 408-859-5306.

Fever. Cough. Short­ness of breath.

Those are the symp­toms of in­fluenza — and also the mys­te­ri­ous new coro­n­avirus.

Which do you have? It de­pends how you an­swer these two ques­tions: Have you re­cently trav­eled to Hubei Province, China? Do you have any close friends or fam­ily mem­bers who have re­cently trav­eled to Hubei Province, China?

These two risk fac­tors — trav­el­ing or hav­ing close con­tact with a trav­eler — were shared by all five U.S. cases of the new coro­n­avirus, said Dr. Nancy Mes­son­nier

of the CDC’s Cen­ter for Im­mu­niza­tion and Respirator­y Diseases at a Wed­nes­day press brief­ing. No new cases have been re­ported.

So far, ev­ery­body else has the flu. In­fluenza has sick­ened be­tween 15 and 21 mil­lion and hos­pi­tal­ized 70,000 Americans so far this sea­son. Since the new coro­n­avirus was iden­ti­fied in midDe­cem­ber, 149 Cal­i­for­ni­ans have died of the flu.

Con­fu­sion is nat­u­ral, said Mes­son­nier.

“The symp­toms of this dis­ease are fever, cough and respirator­y dis­ease,” she said. “That’s sim­i­lar to the early symp­toms of in­fluenza and other vi­ral respirator­y diseases.”

And it’s rea­son­able to as­sume that we’ll see ad­di­tional cases of the new virus, she said.

“But we don’t think peo­ple who are not in one of these two groups need to be con­cerned,” she said. “We judge the risk to be low.”

If you don’t have a fever of 100 de­grees Fahren­heit or higher that lasts for three to five days, you likely just have the com­mon cold.

Keep Kleenex, and carry on.

Want to learn more? Go to https://www.cdc.gov/ coro­n­avirus/2019-ncov/in­dex.html

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