SJC Person Under Investigation for Novel Coronavirus
Posted February 14, 2020 at 5:45 am by Tim Dustrude
San Juan County has its first person under investigation related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global outbreak.
A person under investigation is a person with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection and who has either recently traveled to an affected area, or has had close contact with a confirmed novel coronavirus case.
Testing is currently being conducted by the Centers for Disease Control to determine if the illness is novel coronavirus, and local, state and CDC health officials are operating in an abundance of caution.
San Juan County Health & Community Services is working to assess the potential risk to the public and respond if the person under investigation becomes a confirmed case. It is important to know that the immediate risk to the general public remains low.
Like other counties in Washington State, local public health staff have been monitoring other individuals who have returned from China recently but had no symptoms of illness. Those individuals remain healthy with no symptoms.
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.
Additionally, the Department of Health has set up a 24-hour hotline for the public to call for further information related to this outbreak: 1–800-525‑0127.
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, 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.
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