You literally can’t miss it in the news these days — millions (if not billions) of people all over the world are talking about the increasing spread of “the new (novel) Coronavirus.” According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the earliest cases of COVID-19 began in the city of Wuhan, China, and have since spread to 40 known locations internationally. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and the next day, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services would declare it a national public health emergency (PHE) in order to better assist the U.S healthcare system in its management. To date in the U.S., there have been 100 confirmed cases in 15 states and six deaths linked to the virus. “What, me worry?” – Alfred E. Neuman So, should we panic? Absolutely not! Should we take precautions? Absolutely! I always tell people that “panic rarely, if ever, helps almost any situation.” But there are understandably reasons to be concerned about the coronavirus, especially if your immune system is already compromised, as is often the case in people living with a respiratory condition. For that reason, I have decided to try to help you lessen your anxiety while, at the same time, taking reasonable precautions. In my opinion, an educated patient is always our greatest ally in the fight against respiratory disease, the coronavirus and actually most things in life. So, you'll definitely want to do your homework and stay informed as the situation continues to evolve. As always, I will try to provide you with all of the important information, while leaving out many of the extras currently fanning the flames of fear and misinformation. Dr. Noah Greenspan, DPT, CCS, EMT-B, director of the Pulmonary Wellness & Rehabilitation Center in NYC and founder of the Pulmonary Wellness Foundation, led a webinar for the Foundation on Feb. 29 called “Coronavirus: What Every Pulmonary Patient (and Everyone Else) Needs to Know!” To view this webinar and learn more about what patients with COPD, Pulmonary Fibrosis, and Pulmonary Hypertension (and everyone else) needs to know to protect yourself, check out the Foundation’s website at pulmonarywellness.org/pulmonary-wellness-lecture-series-2020/. Once you register, the webinar is available at pulmonarywellness.org/newsroom/. Living with a chronic illness, particularly a respiratory condition, can significantly compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to picking up a bug, catching a cold or developing an infection or exacerbation. Patients often report getting sick once, twice, three times or more over the course of a given year, and whether it is a cold, the flu, pneumonia, or an exacerbation, it always seems to settle in the chest. To learn more about how you can prevent infection, check out Chapter 11 of Dr. Noah Greenspan’s Ultimate Pulmonary Wellness, Prevention of Infection! *** Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.