Back to articles

Coronavirus comes to Portland


The Oregon Health Authority announced today that the first case of presumed novel coronavirus — now called COVID-19 — has come to the Portland metro area.

This newly discovered coronavirus, which originated in China, has begun to spread around the world. The World Health Organization recently said the chance this virus will spread around the world is highly likely.

“An interesting point is that the outbreak is spreading in countries in which there was only imported disease,” says Dr. Christopher Cirino, Adventist Health Portland infectious disease specialist. That said, Dr. Cirino notes the incredible measures countries are taking to prevent infections from being introduced or spreading.

Coronavirus preparation

Ready to panic? You still probably don’t need to.

Unless you’ve recently traveled to an affected area or are physically near to someone who has, you can leave the hazmat suit in your Amazon shopping cart. But it doesn’t hurt to take a few steps to help you and your family prepare to stay well.

Steps to staying well

Though there is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, you can take other virus-prevention steps to steer clear of illnesses, both the exotic and the all-too-common.

Wash hands frequently: This trick is so simple and yet so underused. Hand sanitizer can also help, but there’s nothing as good as washing your hands with soap often. Experts recommend washing long enough to sing “Happy Birthday.”

Don’t touch your face: It’s so hard to keep our hands off ourselves. But every time you brush your hair off your face or rub your tired eyes, you connect your hands with major entry points into your body—namely, your eyes, nose and mouth.

Get some sleep: Set the phones down, turn down the heat and tuck in for a solid seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Regular good sleep is a huge boost to your immune system.

Eat your fruits and veggies: Your immune system gets pumped up by a variety of vitamins. The best way to get the ones you need is to eat a wide variety of colorful fruit and vegetables.

Even what you take all the right precautions, you may still get a cold or other viruses this winter. Your Adventist Health Portland primary care doctor can advise you on the best way to get better. Established patients can even hold their visit online with our e-visits.

To learn more about the coronavirus outbreak, check out Dr. Cirino’s blog at

Download our quick reference guide with suggested shopping lists and other useful tips.