Novel Coronavirus - Public Service Announcement
Novel Coronavirus Continues to Evolve
The Kendall County Health Department, alongside the Illinois Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) status. Eleven cases of 2019-nCoV infection in people have been detected in the United States. A person-to-person spread of this virus has been detected in Illinois. Thus far, there have been no positive cases of individuals with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Kendall County.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported thousands of infections with 2019-nCoV in China, including outside of Hubei Province. Infections with 2019-nCoV also are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States.
Symptoms can include; fever, cough and shortness of breath. CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Importantly, experts explain that this virus may be transmitted by infected individuals who show no apparent symptoms. There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. Right now, 2019-nCoV has not been found to be spreading widely in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday healthy behaviors to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should promptly contact their healthcare provider.
China Travel Advisory – Level 4: Do Not Travel
The U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs is advising do not travel to China due to the novel coronavirus. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Travelers should be prepared for the possibility of travel restrictions with little or no advance notice. Most commercial air carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.
Those currently in China should attempt to depart by commercial means. U.S. citizens remaining in China should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chinese health authorities’ guidance for prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment. We strongly urge U.S. citizens remaining in China to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with others, including large gatherings. Consider stocking up on food and other supplies to limit movement outside the home. In the event that the situation deteriorates further, the ability of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates to provide assistance to U.S. nationals within China may be limited.
There are ongoing investigations to learn more about the specificity of a coronavirus transmission. This is a rapidly evolving situation and fresh information will be available on our website. For more information on Novel Coronavirus or other communicable diseases, please visit our website at www.kendallhealth.org.