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Napa County says it's preparing for the coronavirus should it appear here

Napa County says it's preparing for the coronavirus should it appear here

From the Complete coronavirus coverage from the Napa Valley Register, St. Helena Star, and The Weekly Calistogan series
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No cases of the coronavirus virus have been reported in Napa County, but the county’s health officer says health care workers are preparing in case it does.

As of Jan. 31, seven cases are confirmed in the United States across four states—Arizona, California, Illinois and Washington. Three of those cases have been identified in California, including a new confirmed case in Santa Clara County. All but one case have traveled from Wuhan, China.

Napa County Public Health officials said they are closely working with California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Bay Area health officials to monitor the new coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and preparing rapidly to protect the health of Napa County residents and limit the spread of this virus,” said Dr. Karen Relucio, Napa County Health Officer. “We are working with closely with health care partners to review testing and infection control procedures and communicating with community partners and are prepared to take action should someone in our county become infected with this virus.”

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals and humans. In rare cases, animal coronaviruses can be transmitted to humans. This newly discovered coronavirus (2019-nCov) has not been previously detected in animals or humans. The source of 2019-nCov is not yet known. Person-to-person spread of 2019-nCov is currently occurring, the county said in a news release.

While this is considered a serious public health threat, based on current information, the risk to the general public in Napa County is considered low at this time, the county said. However, it is likely there will be more cases reported in the U.S. in the coming days and weeks.

Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, and/or shortness of breath. Older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease. Anyone who has recently traveled from China, or has come in close contact with someone who traveled from China, and develops a fever and lower respiratory symptoms, such as a cough or shortness of breath within 14 days after leaving the area, should first call their health care provider and share travel history and symptoms before visiting the clinic or emergency room. Healthcare providers should call Napa County Public Health immediately.

No additional precautions are recommended at this time beyond the simple daily precautions that everyone should always take, such as:

1. Washing hands with liquid soap and water, and rubbing for at least 20 seconds;

2. Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing; and

3. Staying home if you are sick.

Since flu activity will continue to remain high during this flu season, and symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu, Napa County Public Health also recommends getting a flu shot to protect yourself and others from the flu.

For the latest updates, go to the CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus website at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

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