State health officials continue to monitor coronavirus

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Categories: Coronavirus Emergency Response Infectious Disease

State health officials continue to monitor coronavirus

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) continues to engage in a coordinated statewide response with local, state and private partners to prepare for a potential coronavirus outbreak. The risk of coronavirus infection for people in the United States remains low. Currently, there are no persons under investigation in North Dakota.

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert Thursday advising no travel to China after the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. The State Department said travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice and that commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China. The agency also requested that all non-essential U.S. government personnel defer travel to China in light of the novel coronavirus. 

The health, safety and well-being of North Dakota citizens is always our top priority, and our Department of Health is closely monitoring this situation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health units to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to prevent the spread of this harmful and potentially deadly virus,” said Gov. Doug Burgum. “We appreciate the formation of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force and the commitment of federal resources to help monitor, contain and mitigate the spread of the virus and keep citizens informed with accurate and up-to-date health and travel information.”

 “We have received calls from health care providers, but the individuals have not met criteria established by the CDC to warrant further investigation,” said Mylynn Tufte, State Health Officer. “Providers calling to report on their patients means that they are taking this event seriously and that our surveillance is working like it should.”

 

There are now six confirmed cases in the United States. Illinois announced the first instance of person-to-person transmission among a married couple. This continues to be a rapidly evolving event.

North Dakotans can reduce their risk for infection by:

  • Avoiding all travel to China
  • If you have traveled to China, watch for symptoms of respiratory illness for 14 days after returning. Signs and symptoms of this illness include fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing
  • If you develop symptoms, you should:
    • Call your health care provider immediately and tell them you have been to China
    • Avoid contact with other people
    • Stay home and not travel
    • Follow the directions of your provider and public health officials

People can protect themselves and their families by washing their hands often, staying home when sick and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. In general, the risk of infection for people in the United States remains low. Likewise, the risk remains low for people who are traveling to other parts of the world or through airports in the United States.

For more information, contact Michelle Dethloff, NDDoH, at 701-328-3177.  For timely and accurate information on the new coronavirus, visit www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus.

 

For More Information Contact:

Michelle Dethloff
Epidemiology and Surveillance Manager

600 E Blvd., Dept. 301   |     Bismarck, ND 58505-5520

PHONE: (701) 328-3177     |     EMAIL: mdethloff@nd.gov

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