SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department is keeping an eye on 20 people for possible exposure to the coronavirus. The health department said those people recently traveled to China and for now this is just a precautionary measure.
Those travelers are not considered to be high risk and they were not in the Wuhan region near the origin of the virus.
“The role of the health department is to monitor outbreaks of the disease, so that is something we do everyday that not a lot of people know about," said Alisa Haushalter, Shelby Co Health Director.
The department said it’s has been in contact with some of those travelers as early as the first week of February and they’ve been asked to stay at home and away from the public for a total of 14 days.
There haven’t been any reported cases of the coronavirus in the state and those 20 people haven’t shown any signs of the virus, the health department confirmed.
“If someone presents to an emergency room with signs and symptoms of the flu or the coronavirus or something similar, we’re going to know that every day," said Haushalter. “The Mid-South is at a low risk for the coronavirus so, you don’t need to panic, but you need to still be aware.”
The health department said it is working closely with healthcare providers and systems across the region to receive notifications if it appears someone may have contracted the disease and if so, the health department will step in.
“Ensure those individuals remain isolated. We also identify any contacts they may have and ensure those individuals are quarantined.”
So far, no cases of the coronavirus have been reported in in Arkansas, Tennessee or Mississippi.
Healthcare physicians said the chances are still higher for someone to catch the flu and then die from symptoms than the coronavirus.
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