Aitkin County health official urges people to “stay calm” on coronavirus
With a new warning from Centers for Disease Control on the coronavirus coming out on Tuesday, local health officials are reminding people to stay calm.
 
“Stay calm, but aware,” said Brea Hamdorf, the registered nurse in disease prevention and control at Aitkin County Health and Human Services. “I think people just need to be aware of the situation, and be smart."
 
The new virus garnered more headlines Tuesday as there was further spread of the disease in Italy. Currently, the majority of the infections are located near the original outbreak in Wuhan, China, but the virus has spread to other countries with travelers returning home from China.
 
Hamdorf said that while there are no current cases in Minnesota - or evidence that the disease is spreading in communities - there are some simple precautions people can take, including being prepared to stay home for a few days and have supplies at home in that instance.
 
Hamdorf also urged people to follow conventional precautions to prevent virus spread:

·       Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

·       Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

·       Avoid close contact with people who are sick

·       Cover your cough, or sneeze in a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash

·       Stay home if you are sick

·       Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have traveled internationally within the last month and become sick, call to your healthcare provider. Please call the clinic before going in to allow them to prepare for any precautions that they may take.

For more information, you can visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or the MDH website at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact Brea Hamdorf, Aitkin County Public Health, at 218-927-7256 or brea.hamdorf@co.aitkin.mn.us

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