Coronavirus risk low in Michigan, local health officials say
J-Ad News Services
Barry-Eaton District Health Department reported that the current risk in the United States from a recent outbreak of a new coronavirus is low.
The World Health Organization has not declared the outbreak a global emergency at this time.
And, as of Jan. 28, there were five cases in the United States and no confirmed cases in Michigan.
State health officials are saying the greater threat to Michigan residents is the flu – and it's not too late to get a flu shot.
More than 300 Michiganders have been hospitalized for flu and flu-related symptoms since Oct. 1, and at least two children have died from the flu this season.
Here are some frequently asked questions and general information about how to protect yourself from coronavirus – and the flu.
Q. Am I at risk of getting the new coronavirus?
A. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the risk of getting the coronavirus is low to Americans at this time, but is recommending to not travel to China if it is not necessary. The State Department has issued a “Do not travel” advisory to Hubei Province. Travelers returning from the region are being screened for illness at the airport upon arrival to further prevent the spread of disease.
Q. What can I do to prevent myself from getting sick?
A. CDC is recommending to only travel to China if it is absolutely necessary.
Good handwashing hygiene is important in preventing the spread of coronavirus and other illnesses, such as the flu. In general, if you are sick, there are things you can do to avoid spreading illness to others. These include:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid contact with others, especially if you have a fever. Stay home from work or school until you are 24 hours fever-free without the use of medicine.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
Q. What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
A. The coronavirus can affect the respiratory system. Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
Q. I recently returned from China and am feeling sick or I am feeling sick and was exposed to someone who was investigated to have the new coronavirus. What should I do?
A. Contact your healthcare provider over the phone and explain your symptoms and where you have traveled. Calling ahead means the health care facility can prepare for your arrival and reduce the risk of spreading the illness. You should also avoid further travel if you are sick.
Q. What is the health department in Barry County doing to monitor the coronavirus?
A. When someone in Barry or Eaton counties is suspected of being ill with the new coronavirus, the health department will be notified and monitor the case, taking action to investigate and prevent further exposures with the help of state and federal partners.
Q. What is the status of the outbreak?
A. This is monitored by CDC, WHO, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Information may rapidly change, so up-to-date information on the outbreak can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and http://Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.