See here for the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus information.

VA is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (COVID-19). Doctors first identified the virus in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with the World Health Organization (WHO), other government agencies along with state and local officials to respond to this emerging public health threat.

WHO recently declared a public health emergency of international concern. Cases have been identified in international locations including the United States (U.S.). The immediate risk to the U.S. is currently low.

The CDC has an aggressive response to identify potential cases and has activated its emergency operations center.

CDC guidance

  • Get a flu shot.
  • Take flu antivirals if prescribed.
  • Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An easy way to mark the time is to hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice while scrubbing.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick or becoming sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (not your hands) and throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Practical precautions

  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Seek medical care right away if you have both symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath and have either recently returned from China or have direct exposure to others diagnosed with Novel Coronavirus Disease.
  • Before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Cover mouth and nose with tissue or sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

Doing your part

  • Everyone:
    • It’s currently flu season. Follow CDC recommendations to get a flu vaccine. Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs as listed above.
  • Health care professionals:
  • People who may have COVID-19 infection:
    • Follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others.
  • Travelers:

Share this story

Published on Jan. 31, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 842


  1. Seun February 28, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Everyone do your best to stay healthy and this virus might not spread as rapidly as it has done in China. Flu shots, washing your hands are KEY to staying healthy.

  2. Kimberly Sue Smith February 16, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Influenza B positive ***Got Lab results 2 days ago for my adult dependent son. He had the flu shot. The local civilian doc stated this is a new strain of flu
    not covered by flu shot. He is in his second week of this flu and it is wickedly dropping his weight and strength. When we walked into the clinic, everyone masked up and so did we. I am a Veteran and need to get the flu shot. I always do but I missed my opportunity at work. Not sure why i did not get one administered at any of my medical appointments. WHERE is the flu shot available? At least I can try to prevent the covered strains out there. Thanks for allowing me to comment/ request assistance.

    • Kimberly Sue Smith February 16, 2020 at 5:45 pm


    • Lynne Rae February 21, 2020 at 1:12 pm

      The influenza vaccine is still available at the VA. Perhaps you have a PCP appointment soon? The Nurse can provide is you ask. Hope this helps.

    • Graylyn February 28, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      VA and Walgreens are national partners, providing no-cost quadrivalent flu shots to enrolled Veterans of the VA health care system. During the program, which runs from August 15, 2019 through March 31, 2020, enrolled Veteran patients nationwide have the option of getting their flu shot at any of Walgreens’ 9,600 locations in addition to their local VA health care facilities. No appointment is required; simply go to any Walgreens, tell the pharmacist you receive care at a VA facility, and show your Veterans Health Identification Card and another form of photo ID.*

  3. Peter Dawson February 7, 2020 at 4:07 am

    Is there any cure for that?

  4. Tom February 7, 2020 at 4:01 am

    Also avoid eating meat or any non veg food. By the way thanks for the information.

  5. Jeanette M Carden February 6, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Bought ours at Advance Auto Parts

  6. Robert Bruneau February 6, 2020 at 12:00 am

    You are already weakened with the flu infection, which can cause coronavirus symptoms to be worse.

  7. Rufus Belding February 5, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    I got mine at Home Depot

  8. Ralph D. Ortegon February 5, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    Once again, the Veterans’ Administration (VA) has come to the aid of Us Vets. Thanking you VA folks for your living care. I urge my veteran Sisters and Brothers to read and use the helpful advice as provided by the VA.
    Ralph D. Ortegon
    USAF B-52 Bomber Crew Chief • 1966 – 1970 SAC, 15th Air Force, 22ND Bomb Wing
    Flew over & thru the Nam’ bull shit……… • 1967 &1969
    Port Bow
    Arc Lite
    Rolling Thunder
    DVCEMAS…………….”WE LEAD”

    • Timothy February 21, 2020 at 2:35 pm

      B52 Crew Chief here also. SAC – 410th Bomb Wing 1969 -1943. Stationed at KI Sawyer AFB. Spent time at Kedena AFB Okinawa, Anderson AFB Guam and U-Tapao Base Thailand. Flew through and over the same crap. War never changes. Looks like the arsenal has changed from basaltic warfare to biological viruses. Mankind is so cruel to itself. Stay healthy!

  9. Yvonne Munn February 4, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Everyone do your best to stay healthy and this virus might not spread as rapidly as it has done in China. Flu shots, washing your hands are KEY to staying healthy.

  10. Jesse Rudolph Craft February 4, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    very informative and helpful. Thanks.

  11. Steven February 4, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Short article
    Garbled when try to save

  12. Mark Silva February 3, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    How do you get vaccinated when officials say a vaccine wont be ready for a year?

  13. Michael Jacomet February 3, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Thanks very much for thinking of we vets and our families. I will take these precautions to heart to hopefully do my part to prevent the spreading of this and all dangerous illnesses.

  14. Howard J. Byerley February 2, 2020 at 9:28 am

    CDC Guidance says ” Get Vaccinated” There is currently NO vaccine or cure so this statement is here for ?

    • Erika February 4, 2020 at 10:40 am

      get your flu shot!

      • Ronald Speer February 4, 2020 at 4:59 pm

        I think they were trying to say ‘get a flu shot’. That’s what other sites are recommending.

  15. Lucas February 2, 2020 at 6:49 am

    very interesting article. thank you

    • Ronald Speer February 4, 2020 at 5:01 pm

      They mean get a flu shot.

  16. andrew j wing February 1, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    How can we get the n95 masks?

    • Watangwa Sarah Tammah February 4, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you for your updates on health.
      This is indeed a Community Health emergency

    • Mike Smith February 4, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart and probably all other places are sold out. Surgical masks are made in China so they’re not sending any to the U.S. for resale. They need them and they know it! I stumbled into a box directly after it arrived at a local CVS. The pharmacist acted like it was gold. Good luck!

Comments are closed.

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