Dispelling Some Common Myths About Coronavirus

The risk of contracting the disease in the U.S. is fairly low, medical experts say

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Doctors in Massachusetts say that a lot of people who are coming in with concerns about the coronavirus are basing their worries on myths.

The coronavirus cannot be contracted simply by being in a crowded place, according to doctors NBC10 Boston spoke with. Despite the concern, doctors insist that the threat to the public remains low in the United States -- especially compared to other respiratory illnesses like the flu. Face masks won't really prevent you from contracting a respiratory virus either, doctors have said.

However, one symptom to watch out for when it comes to the coronavirus is a persistent, high fever, especially if it goes away and then comes back.

After a college student was diagnosed with coronavirus, classmates want more answers from the University of Massachusetts.

On a local level, safety concerns arose following news that a UMass-Boston student contracted coronavirus while visiting Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus, before returning to the U.S.

Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and epidemologist at Tufts Medical Center, said that coronavirus isn't transmitted like other viruses.

"Maybe I was in a location with somebody with coronavirus and I was exposed, but this virus is transmitted very differently," Doron said. "It is not transmitted by airborne that can go long distances. You have to be at close contact."

Across the planet, 425 deaths have been blamed on the coronavirus, while there are upwards of 20,000 cases worldwide. However, only a dozen such cases have been confirmed in the U.S.

UMass-Boston officials say the infected student had limited contact with the campus and did not attend classes. He has been quarantined at his Boston home.

As new cases of the coronavirus are reported around the world, a doctor explains where the 2019 Novel Coronavirus comes from and what you can do to protect yourself from the outbreak.
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