Franklin County Public Health Services (FCPHS) is closely following novel Covid-19 (use to be called Coronavirus) in partnership with the New York State Department of Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and our local health care providers and facilities.

According to the CDC, at this time the immediate health risk from Covid-19 to members of the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, is considered low.

The Covid –19 was first detected in China and had not been previously found in humans. This virus can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are thousands of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside of Wuhan and additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States. There are ongoing investigations to learn more about this virus. No one has been diagnosed with this new virus in New York state.

However, we are in the middle of flu season, a time when influenza and other respiratory diseases are common. As preventive measures, FCPHS recommends frequent handwashing and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, countertops and tables, telephones and children’s toys to prevent the spread of germs. Avoiding close contact with people who are ill, staying home when you are sick, and covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing are also encouraged. FCPHS also recommends flu vaccination for people ages 6 months and older as well as personal preparedness such as keeping a supply of food, water, blankets, baby/pet food on hand, and refer to www.ready.gov.

For individuals considering travel out of the United States – for business, study or vacation – we advise checking the CDC Travel Health Notices web site (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices). These notices are updated regularly. As with any international travel, talk to your physician or health care provider about what precautions you should take before and during travel.

There are no restrictions for local or regional travel, and there are no closings of colleges or universities.

Factual, evidence-based information and updates about this new Covid-19 is available from: CDC, Novel Coronavirus in China: http://www.cdc.gov/wuhan and NYSDOH, Coronavirus: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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