Public health director for Routt, Moffat counties addresses novel coronavirus
The director of public health for Routt and Moffat counties released a statement Friday about the risk of novel coronavirus in the United States.
“Though Colorado has no cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), we take it very seriously,” said the Friday release from Director Kari Ladlow. “Working with the CDC, we continue to closely monitor the outbreak and develop Colorado’s response.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has investigated one person in northern Colorado for 2019-nCoV who had travel history to Wuhan, the release stated. That case was subsequently ruled out after a negative test was confirmed by the CDC.
“While we understand that new viruses like this can be worrisome, we echo the CDC’s statement that the risk to people in the United States is low at this time,” the release said. “We have assembled a team to work on infection control, case investigation, contact notification, and communications and are prepared to respond if we have a case. If there is a suspected case in Colorado, there are protocols in place to help ensure hospitals, health care providers, and local health agencies know what steps to take to minimize any potential spread of the virus.”
The release added that people can protect themselves by practicing everyday actions:
- Clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
- Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals including camels, cats and bats.
Some coronaviruses are common and regularly cause Illness in the U.S. in the fall and winter. These viruses spread through coughing or sneezing, much like the flu. Symptoms may include fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.
Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people, such as has been seen with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). These viruses have caused outbreaks internationally and have been known to cause severe illness.
“It is too soon to know how severe 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is compared to other coronaviruses or how easily it can spread easily between humans,” the release said.
For more information, call 970-870-5319.