Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions at the end of this story.
INDIANAPOLIS — Northern Kentucky University fans in Indianapolis cheering the Norse to a win over the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames said they're practicing common sense and good hygiene to stay coronavirus-free.
"I don't think it worries me," freshman Lauren Reinhardt said. "It's just like the flu. I think people are being drastic about not being educated on the virus. I've done research on it, it spreads like the flu. You're more likely to get the flu than the coronavirus."
NKU fans were rewarded in Indianapolis with a 71-62 Norse victory and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
No announcements were made at the game regarding COVID-19, but NKU fans were protecting themselves.
"Obviously washing your hands is a priority, but it's a priority all the time," Reinhardt said. "I don't think because there's a virus we should start washing our hands. That should be an aspect all the time, that you wash your hands."
The last time the two teams met, UIC won by 30 points.
"It was a good ol' butt-kicking," sophomore Kandice Williams said.
Williams said she was more concerned with getting a win than catching the coronavirus.
"I make sure I wash my hands," Williams said.
So far, no coronavirus cases have been reported at NKU or in Northern Kentucky. Governor Andy Beshear announced there were eight confirmed cases statewide Tuesday night, including five in Harrison County, two in Fayette County (Lexington) and one in Jefferson County (Louisville).
NKU announced Wednesday it would extend its spring break and suspend face-to-face classes for online instruction amid the statewide coronavirus concerns. Other Tri-State universities like Miami, UC and Xavier also moved instruction online this week.
There are six confirmed positive cases in Indiana, according to the state's health department. There are currently two cases out of Hendricks County, one out of Marion County (Indianapolis), one out of Noble County and one out of Boone County.
Find coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:
- Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
- See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.
- State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
- See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.
- SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.
What is coronavirus, COVID-19?
According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.
The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.
What are the symptoms? How does it spread?
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.
The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.
Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.
The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms.