Common sense is the best medicine for preventing coronavirus infection

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This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow), the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. NIAID-RML PHOTO

UPDATED: MARCH 8, 2020

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there are eight “presumptive positive” cases of Covid-19 in the state of Colorado. There are still no reported cases in Rio Blanco County. Visit the RBC Public Health Coronavirus Update page for local information and guidelines.

RBC I As national and international concerns about the new coronavirus continue to expand, local agencies and organizations have begun fielding questions from area residents.

The new coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. The virus causes a disease referred to as COVID-19, which has spread to at least 76 countries worldwide and 16 U.S. states as of press time Wednesday, causing more than 3,000 deaths, stock market turbulence, quarantines, conspiracy theories, and fears of a pandemic.

SARS-CoV-2 is not the first or the only coronavirus out there. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans, including respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe disease like SARS and MERS, which circulated in the early 2000s.

In an effort to keep the local public up-to-date with current, accurate information, Rio Blanco County Public Health has established a web page with recommendations, answers to frequently asked questions and real-time alerts at rbc.us/592/Coronavirus-Update. As the situation changes, the page will be updated.

At this time, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Rio Blanco County or the State of Colorado.

On Monday, the Colorado Department of Public Health announced in a press release that it can now test up to 160 samples a day at the state lab, assuming test kits from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are available. Tests will not be available for the general public. Healthcare providers can request testing for patients if they suspect COVID-19 infection.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday that the state’s emergency readiness has been raised to its second-highest level, and state health officials warned of the possibility that mild cases are already in the state.

By NIKI TURNER
editor@ht1885.com