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COVID-19 Advisory: Visitor restrictions are in place for all Phoenix Children’s locations. Masks are required for all visitors and for patients ages 2+. For more information, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center.

COVID-19: What You Need to Know

COVID-19 Advisory: Help slow down the spread of the virus. If you have symptoms, call before going to a clinic or emergency department. No visitors. Only two healthy primary caregivers per patient, just one for emergency department or ambulatory visits. For the latest updates on COVID-19 visit the Maricopa County Department of Public Health or the CDC.

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Phoenix Children’s Hospital is working closely with local and state officials to communicate important information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the respiratory illness (Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19) caused by this virus. Below we have provided an overview of the virus and links to key resources. For the most up-to-date information on the virus within Maricopa County, visit the public health website. For national news and related information about the virus, visit the CDC.

  • The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
  • It is part of a larger family of viruses called coronavirus, some of which are very common and cause symptoms like the common cold and are not cause for major concern.
  • To date, the origin of the virus is not known.

What is a coronavirus?

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are several known coronaviruses that commonly infect children and adults and usually only cause mild respiratory illness, similar to the common cold.
  • However, at least two previously identified coronaviruses have caused severe disease.
  • These include severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
  • SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV are NOT the cause of the current outbreak.
  • More recently, cases have been confirmed with no exposure to animal markets, indicating that person-to-person spread of the virus has occurred. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China.

Please note: there are no animals in the U.S. or in Maricopa County that have been diagnosed with Novel Coronavirus, and U.S. authorities do not believe this will be an issue. 

What is the source of 2019 Coronavirus?

  • Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Early patients who contracted the virus in Wuhan, China, reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting the virus likely emerged from an animal source.
  • SARS, another coronavirus, originated in civet cats, while MERS came from camels. Both viruses emerged to infect people.

Is SARS-CoV-2 the same as the MERS-CoV or SARS virus?

  • No, SARS-CoV-2 is not the same as MERS-CoV or SARS. However, genetic analyses suggest this virus emerged from a virus related to SARS. There are ongoing investigations to learn more.
  • The recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 is different than the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or the coronavirus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats.
  • There are ongoing investigations to learn more about this particular coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. This is a rapidly-evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

To learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 visit the CDC website. As of January 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services declared this a public health emergency, and it continues to be a rapidly evolving situation.

Who's is at risk for infection with SARS-CoV-2 in Maricopa County?

  • Currently, risk to the public in Maricopa County is low; however this is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily.
  • Please visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date national information

What are the symptoms and complications of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

  • Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
  • Read more about COVID-19 symptoms at the CDC website.

How does the virus spread?

  • It’s not clear yet how easily COVID-19 spreads from person to person. When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of MERS and SARS between people has generally occurred between close contacts.
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