What to Know
- The New Jersey Department of Health has opened a coronavirus hotline to educate the community on the disease, the agency announced Tuesday
- New Jersey's hotline can be reached at 1-800-222-1222
- In order to reach as many people as possible, the hotline accommodates callers in multiple languages
The New Jersey Department of Health has opened a coronavirus hotline to educate the community on the disease, the agency announced Tuesday.
The hotline is being operated by the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES), also known as the New Jersey Poison Center. NJPIES is a division of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
New Jersey's hotline can be reached at 1-800-222-1222.
“Although the risk to the public remains low, we understand that residents have questions about this new virus,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “This hotline provides factual information to alleviate fear and dispel rumors.”
In order to reach as many people as possible, the hotline accommodates callers in multiple languages.
“As a 24-hour hotline staffed continuously with trained healthcare professionals, the New Jersey Poison Center is standing by to answer questions about this emerging infection. The call is always free, and we can communicate in any language to the public as well as healthcare professionals,” Dr. Diane Calello, Executive and Medical Director of NJPIES, said in a statement.
The call center is an approach by the state and medical and public health partners to respond to the 2019 novel coronavirus by ensuring the public health and health care system preparedness, according to the department of health.
Additionally the state's health department already has a novel coronavirus webpage that includes CDC updates, travel advisories and guidance sent to health care providers, local health departments, infection preventionists and other health partners.
State health officials have also been in contact with Newark Liberty International Airport’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in advance of airport screening.
The new virus causes cold- and flu-like symptoms, including cough and fever, and in more severe cases, shortness of breath and pneumonia.
Health officials in the United States have expanded their recommendation for people in the United States to avoid non-essential travel to any part of China, rather than just Wuhan and other areas most affected by a virus outbreak that has killed more than 100 people.
"This is a serious public health threat," the CDC said on its website. "The fact that this virus has caused severe illness and sustained person-to-person spread in China is concerning, but it’s unclear how the situation in the United States will unfold at this time."
There were 1,771 new cases confirmed in China, raising the national total to 4,515, according to the National Health Commission. It said 976 people were in serious condition.
Infections also have been confirmed in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and Sri Lanka.
The five American cases — two in southern California and one each in Washington state, Chicago and Arizona — are people who had recently arrived from central China.
The virus is thought to have spread to people from wild animals sold at a Wuhan market. China on Sunday banned trade in wild animals and urged people to stop eating meat from them.