Oregon: 254 monitored for COVID-19, but no confirmed cases
The Oregon Health Authority reports that more than 250 people have been monitored for symptoms of COVID-19 — previously known as the Wuhan Coronavirus — but not a single person has yet tested positive for the disease here.
Here are the results so far since state epidemiologists began their investigation:
• 254 — the total number of people monitored for COVID-19 since Jan. 24, primarily because they visited mainland China
• 178 — the number who have completed monitoring without developing symptoms
• 76 — the number still being monitored.
OHA says no one is currently under investigation for COVID-19, a more serious consideration for those presenting symptoms with a confirmed instance of exposure or recent travel to China.
Two people were previously under investigation and received negative test results, meaning they are not sick with this particular illness.
"We recognize people are very worried about COVID-19, particularly given that we don't know everything we wish we could know about how it's transmitted," said OHA's Public Health Division director, Lillian Shirley.
The signs of COVID-19 include fever, coughing fits and difficulty breathing.
"People need to understand their real risks and feel confident the state and their local health departments are working hard to protect their health," Shirley said, noting that the complete lack of cases means public risk is low.
If OHA discovers a person who tests positive for COVID-19, the authority will report it to the public and reveal that person's county of residence.
Tens of thousands worldwide have been sickened by the novel disease that originated in the Wuhan province of China, sparking fears of a global pandemic. But less than 3,000 people have died, and most of the casualties have been in China so far.
There are at least 50 cases of the disease in the U.S., and others in Canada, Britain, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea and other countries.
OHA released this list of tips for preventing the spread of disease:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.
• Consult Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the U.S.A.
• Take care of your overall health. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.
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