Sunday, February 23, 2020

CK Public Health closely monitoring Wuhan novel coronavirus

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit is closely monitoring the Wuhan novel coronavirus and they have issued some information for Chatham-Kent residents.

Public Health officials issued an update on the situation on Sunday, January 26.

Public Health officials are encouraging people to follow CK Public Health on Facebook and Twitter to receive notification of updates.

The first case found in Toronto, Ontario occurred in a person who had been in the Chinese city of Wuhan in the 14 days prior to becoming ill, Public Health officials say.

“A cluster of undiagnosed viral pneumonia cases were first reported in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019, and has now been confirmed as the result of a new coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans,” Public Health officials say.

“The current situation is evolving. New information is becoming available daily and a clearer picture is being formed as this information is analyzed by provincial, national and international health agencies.”

Public Health officials say the risk to residents of Chatham-Kent is low.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with the Wuhan coronavirus in Wuhan, China as low for Canada and for Canadian travelers,” Public Health officials say.

“Please note that the Public Health risk is reassessed on a continual basis as new information becomes available.”

CK Public Health officials say they are following the lead of the Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, and the Public Health Agency of Canada in responding to the Wuhan coronavirus.

“CK Public Health has a strong partnership with local hospitals that have put measures in place to screen individuals who are suspected of being infected by the Wuhan coronavirus,” Public Health officials stated.

“Please read signs and follow all instructions when visiting a hospital.”

CK Public Health officials have a list of recommendations to residents of Chatham-Kent to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses, including coronaviruses:

– Wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer

– Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand

– Stay home if you are sick

– Avoid contact with people who are sick

– Get your flu shot

“Currently, only persons who become ill within 14 days of having visited Wuhan, China or having been in close contact with someone who has a respiratory illness who has been to Wuhan within 14 days prior to their illness onset are considered at risk for novel coronavirus infection,” CK Public Health officials say.

“Common symptoms of infection include fever, cough and respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Please note that there is a low mortality rate associated with the Wuhan coronavirus, especially in comparison to SARS. Most individuals infected by the virus will recover. Thus far, fatalities have been mainly people with underlying serious health problems.”

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