WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — As more cases of the coronavirus show up in the United States, Triad doctors say you should still live your life as you normally would.
Two new confirmed cases were announced Sunday — one in Los Angeles County in California and the other in Arizona.
The other three were confirmed in Orange County, California; Washington state; and Chicago.
All of the U.S. patients had traveled to Wuhan, the Chinese city that is the center of the outbreak.
"There are no secondary cases, which means they have not transmitted it to other people," said Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Infectious Disease Expert Christopher Ohl.
Doctors say patients who have weaker immune systems are more prone to getting the disease.
"For the most part it seems to be having the most severe effects on older people, people with underlying diseases," he said, "There’s only been a few young healthy people that’s died from this virus so far."
Over the weekend, test results for the possible coronavirus case in North Carolina came back negative.
Ohl says right now, North Carolinians and all people in the United States don't have anything to worry about.
"Right now public health and infectious disease experts in the United States don’t really feel that the risk to the U.S. is high because we’ve been able to contain a few cases that have come," he said.
Symptoms of the coronavirus can be similar to flu-like symptoms.
Ohl says treatment for mild symptoms of the virus is as simple as letting it run its course.
Ohl says there are several different strains of the coronavirus, some of which were contracted from animals.
"You really can’t contract it from our pets here in the United States. I guess it depends a little bit on what you call a pet," said Ohl, "The previous coronavirus that caused problems such as MERS was contracted from camels – probably not really a pet."
Another coronavirus strain is known as SARS.
"In China, the SARS virus came by an intermediate host, which was some small mammals that they use there for food but the original origin seems to be bats so I think our pets are in the clear on this one," he said.
"Most of these can actually be cared for at home. We do need to make sure that they’re isolated so people aren’t in contact with them," said Ohl, "For the more severe cases - it would mean hospitalization, and in the real severe cases help with breathing like with ventilators and things like that until the virus runs its course."
As far as what doctors say you should do differently with 5 confirmed cases in the United States? Nothing.
"Right now, I wouldn’t do anything different. If you have plans to travel to China, I would probably put that off particularly if you have plans to go to central China," he said.
If you haven't been to the city of Wuhan, you shouldn't worry about getting the coronavirus right now.
"In North Carolina, if you have symptoms of the flu or a cold, you have the flu or the cold because there is no circulating coronavirus here in North Carolina," said Ohl.