2019 Novel Coronavirus Declared a Public Health Emergency

  • Tue Feb 11th, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

The World Health Organization declared a global emergency on Thursday, and on Friday the White House declared a U.S. public health emergency as the coronavirus outbreak has spread worldwide. Human-to-human transmission of the virus was also confirmed in the United States this week. The outbreak originated in December 2019, in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has rapidly spread around the globe.

While there are no cases in our county, San Juan County Health & Community Services is working closely with the local medical provider community and with the Department of Health to assess potential cases and current risk. They are also providing guidance and resources as the global epidemic and understanding of the virus rapidly change.

A webpage has been set up on the San Juan County website for the public to access up-to-date information on the epidemic, as well as tools and resources for providers.

The best ways to protect against this and other viruses are to wash your hands often, cover your cough and stay home when ill. Additionally, public health officials urge people to get a seasonal flu vaccine if they haven’t already, as flu cases are also increasing and symptoms can look similar to novel coronavirus.

If you are experiencing fever and a cough or shortness of breath, AND you have either traveled from Hubei Province, China within the last 14 days, or have had close contact with a confirmed case, contact your health care provider immediately. Individuals who suspect they may have been exposed and have developed symptoms should CALL their health care provider before going to seek medical attention, so the health care provider can take appropriate precautions to prevent further spread of the virus.