MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — As the United States prepares for the potential for outbreak of the new coronavirus strain known as COVID-19, the Alabama Department of Public Health wants the pubic to be informed, but not to panic.
There are seven different coronaviruses that can infect people and make them sick. Many of the strains are more similar to the common cold. It’s the new strain that emerged in China, COVID-19, that has health officials concerned. Most of the concern stems from the fact that it’s unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people. This is why heath officials across the world are preparing for the potential for widespread outbreak.
As of February 26, there are no known cases of COVID-19 reported in Alabama. According to a news release by ADPH, guidance has been sent to the state’s post-secondary schools, the State Department of Education, independent schools and businesses based on the most recent information. ADPH held a webinar to assist hospitals by providing screening guidance and other precautions for staff and the public.
While there has been one case of COVID-19 with an unknown origin in Norther California, the main concern in the United States remains for those who have recently traveled overseas and more specifically to China.
ADPH recommends the following for those who have recently traveled to China and begin to feel sick:
- 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.
For the general public, ADPH says the same precautions taken to prevent yourself from getting the flu can be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash Your Hands
- Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
- Stay Home With Fever
- Stockpile Supplies
- Clean and Disinfect
- Know Your Office Emergency Plan
- Learn Home Care
- Call Your Doctor If Symptoms Get Worse
- Stay Informed
More information on coronavirus can be found on the front page of ADPH’s website.
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