Virus not seen in Ohio; however, influenza is a concern locally
Logan County Health Commissioner Dr. Boyd Hoddinott provided an update at the Logan County District Board of Health’s Wednesday afternoon meeting on the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
While there are no cases currently in Ohio, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week confirmed 13 2019-nCoV cases in six states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Washington. As a part of the response to this situation, the CDC has provided quarantine guidance for people recently returning from China.
Dr. Hoddinott advised that local, state and national health authorities are carefully monitoring the situation and has protocol in place.
“Everyone is on high alert, and we have plans in place if we would begin to see the virus in our state,” he said.
“The ODH is actively working with local health departments and healthcare providers to effectively identify suspected cases of 2019-nCoV and continue infectious disease surveillance, prevention, and control,” ODH officials said. “We are prepared.”
At this time, the virus is not spreading in U.S. communities, and the CDC considers risk to the general public low.
Health officials advise if you traveled to China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, get medical attention. Call your healthcare provider before being seen, and tell them about your travel history and symptoms.
What is a greater local concern right now, the health commissioner said, are the rising cases of influenza. Logan County Health District Nursing Director Kelly Reaver said since Jan. 1, there have been 19 Logan County residents hospitalized for influenza-related illness, including one adult death of a Logan County resident linked to influenza.
Reaver related that the severe cases of influenza are leading to pneumonia, and the Logan County residents treated at area hospitals for the illness have included all ages, from children to older adults.
She noted that flu vaccines are still available at the health district, 310 S. Main St. Call to pre-register for an appointment at (937) 651-6186.
The CDC recommends typical infectious disease precautions to avoid influenza and other contagious illnesses, such as coronavirus:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
• Cover coughs/sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
• Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
• Stay home you are ill (except to visit a health care professional) and avoid close contact with others.
• Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects