Coronavirus

ASHLAND -- Finally, there is some good news, at least locally, when it comes to the Coronavirus.

Test results were negative for the two Miami University students who were examined for the virus. There have been no cases reported in Ohio.

According to Reed Richmond, Public Information Officer of Richland Public Health, there have been 14,411 cases reported in China with 304 deaths. Of that number, 2,110 of the existing cases are considered severe.

Worldwide, there are 146 cases in 23 other countries (including the 8 cases in the United States in five states). There has been one death so far outside of China.

In the U.S., the CDC is currently investigating 121 cases and has had 114 cases that have tested negative. The number of states with patients under investigation is 36.

The two students at Miami University (Ohio) that were cases under investigation tested negative. At this time there are no cases under investigation in Ohio.

The World Health Organization declares coronavirus a global health threat citing the potential of the virus to spread to other countries not prepared to deal with the contagion.

On Jan. 31, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for China: do not travel to China due to 2019-nCoV.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. Businesses should be advised that the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory: Do Not Travel to China.

Timeline:

December 31, 2019: the World Health Organization was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City (population of 11 million), Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus.

January 7, 2020: Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. This new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV.”

January 17, 2020: The United States starts screening travelers arriving from Wuhan, China

January 21, 2020: First case in the United States is reported in Washington state.

January 24, 2020: Chinese authorities quarantine five cities in the Hubei Province which has a population of 58.5 million.

January 27, 2020: The number of cases of coronavirus exceeds those from the SARS outbreak in 2002-03 which caused 800 deaths.

January 28, 2020: Two students at Miami University (Ohio) are isolated after one reported to the student health center feeling ill. Both had travelled to China. Samples are sent to the CDC for testing (Case under investigation). Both eventually tested negative.

January 29, 2020: First person to person case reported in the U.S. (Chicago)

January 30, 2020: WHO declares coronavirus a “public health emergency of international concern.”

January 31, 2020: The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for China: do not travel to China due to 2019-nCoV.

Best sources for information remain cdc.gov and odh.ohio.gov/coronavirus

The following information is from the Ohio Department of Health

If you traveled to affected areas outside the U.S. where 2019-nCoV outbreaks have been identified (e.g. Wuhan, China) and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:

Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Avoid contact with others.

Not travel while sick.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

What happens if a case is reported?

A case or suspected case of 2019-nCoV is reported to a local health department.

The local health department alerts the ODH.

ODH reports to the CDC.

Currently, testing for this virus must take place at CDC.

What can you do to protect yourself?

The most effective means of protection is the same as those things that prevent other illness such as flu:

Cover coughs/sneezes with your arm.

Get plenty of rest. Sleep is shown to help your body fight off illness.

Eat a balanced diet including plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grain products.

Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Try not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs are often spread this way.

Avoid exposure to others who are sick.

Stay home when you are ill. Keep sick children home from school or child care.

What is public health doing to protect Ohioans?

Ohio’s public health system includes a team of local and state partners who perform daily monitoring of reportable diseases, including 2019-nCoV (educating about what public health does).

ODH is monitoring this situation, in lockstep with the CDC, and will be ready to respond if a case should be reported in Ohio.

CDC considers US risk low at this time.

Several fact sheets and other informational documents have been prepared and collected by ODH, and media, stakeholders, and the public can access them at the ODH website at www.odh.ohio.gov/coronavirus. As this is a rapidly changing situation, this is the best way to get the most up-to-date information.

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