Coronavirus: should you be concerned?

County health department says threat is low at this time

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RBC | The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Infections with 2019-nCoV are being reported in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States. The Rio Blanco County Department of Public Health and Environment (RBCDPHE) medical director and staff are monitoring the situation locally. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in Colorado, although three Colorado individuals with travel history to China have been tested for the virus. Two have tested negative, one test is pending.

Non-essential travel to China is discouraged and those who have traveled to Wuhan China within the past two weeks and have developed symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath should seek medical treatment. Please call ahead and inform your healthcare provider or local emergency department of your symptoms so they can better prepare for your arrival.

Symptoms of the novel coronavirus include: runny nose, cough, fever, sore throat, headache and a general feeling of being unwell. Transmission of this virus occurs with coughing or sneezing, touching and shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.

STAY HEALTHY THIS WINTER:

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.

Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

If you think you might be sick, stay home.

To prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Cough or sneeze into your elbow and not your hands. Avoid contact with people who are ill with cold or flu-like symptoms. Stay home if you are sick, and clean high touch surfaces frequently.

At this time, your risk for infection with the novel coronavirus is low. For updated information, please go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Home Page at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html or call the RBCDPHE Rangely office at 878-9524 or Meeker office at 878-9528 with questions or concerns. Updates will be posted to keep the public current on the developing situation.

By Alice Harvey | Special to the Herald Times