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2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV: What’s the risk?
Many of us are worried by news of the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV in China and beyond. There is precious little data on the risk to the immune compromised such as ourselves, and it is hard to figure out from the limited mortality reports coming out of Hubei Province if the virus is more dangerous for those who are usually at higher risk such as the very young, the very old, those with co-morbidities, and those like us who have impaired immunity.
Until we know for sure, it is my opinion that it is smart to assume the worst, that we are indeed at higher risk which means stay away from China, don’t touch your face and wash your hands all the time. The value of a face mask is more questionable. It seems to spread like a cold or flu by infected droplets from those coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with someone infected, but even this isn’t nailed down with certainty. We do know that it is spread from person to person and healthcare providers are at higher risk.
Most cases seem to be mild. This is the same viral family of germs that causes the common cold, but also the same family that caused SARS and besides, we are not most patients. The flu and pneumonia are potentially fatal events for CLL patients, so until proven otherwise, I am acting as if 2019-nCoV carries a similar risk.
But rather than rely on my guesses, let’s let the CDC answer your questions: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
Stay strong. We are all in this together.