Coronavirus facts compiled by Alderman Waguespack


This is an electron microscopic image of the 2019 novel coronavirus grown in cells at the University of Hong Kong*

Considering the very concerning worldwide news about the spreading coronavirus, Alderman Scott Waguespack, 32nd Ward, compiled the follow details about the illness and actions being taken.

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to coordinate closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (visit this CDC link for constant updates) in taking all appropriate steps to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus illness. The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4 Do Not Travel Advisory for China

Based on current information, and in consultation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDPH believes the risk of novel coronavirus to the general public in Chicago remains low.  

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people, and others that circulate among animal, including camels, cats, and bats. Rarely animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people.  Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and commonly cause mild to moderate illness in people worldwide. However, the emergence of novel (new) coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, have been associated with more severe respiratory illness.

Symptoms - Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. These illnesses usually only last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.

Transmission - 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 rarely, fecal contamination. 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. Right now, 2019-nCoV has not been found to be spreading widely in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take.

However, the following everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of several viruses, including seasonal flu.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Treatment - There are no specific treatments. To help relieve symptoms; take pain and fever medications, drink plenty of liquids, and stay home and rest. Fight the Flu via the CDC - TAKE 3.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.  More information can be found at:

Illinois Dept. of Public Health  and the 

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Novel Coronavirus page)                                                                                         

You can continue to find status updates on CDPH's website

Google SOS Alert webpage launched in coordination with World Health Organization (WHO)


*Source Bloomberg news showing image from the University of Hong Kong.

Thanks to Alderman Waguespack for permitting his article to be reprinted here.



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