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February 22, 2020

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Allen County Health Dept: No confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio

Greatest risk remains for people who have recently traveled to China

To date there have been 15 confirmed cases in the United States, and no confirmed cases in Ohio. 

The novel virus causing the expanding outbreak of respiratory illness centered in China has been officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.  

While there are 15 confirmed cases in the US, the virus is not spreading in the community and the vast majority of people in the United States have a low risk of exposure to the virus.

The greatest risk remains for people who have recently traveled to China, or people that have had close contact with persons confirmed to be infected by COVID-19. 

COVID-19 is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. Most cases are still limited to mainland China. 

The Centers for Disease Control is working closely with state and local public health partners to monitor this outbreak with the goal of reducing the spread and impact of the virus.

To date there have been 15 confirmed cases in the United States, and no confirmed cases in Ohio. 

“It is important for people to understand that there must be some sort of exposure to this virus in order for someone to become sick from it,” says Kathy Luhn, Allen County Health Commissioner.

“While the risk of this new virus to people in the United States is low at this time, everyone can do their part to lessen the spread of illness, whether it is COVID-19 or other viruses such as flu.”  

People can take these everyday precautions:

• Get a flu vaccine because it is still flu and respiratory disease season;  and

• Use everyday preventive actions - stay home from work or school or errands if you are ill; wash your hands often; cough or sneeze into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; stay away from people who are ill; and 

• Understand your risk: if you have travel history to China in the past 14 days, or had close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure to COVID-19.

• Stay informed: rely on reputable sources of information such as your local health department, the Ohio Department of Health, and CDC for updates and guidelines.