Indiana and Local Officials Prepare for Coronavirus Cases

Dubois County (NNDC): 

Health officials in Indiana are monitoring almost 30 people for possible coronavirus.

The possible infected Hoosiers have not tested positive but are being monitored due to their history of travel or contact with someone who traveled to an affected country.

The state will stop monitoring them once they’ve gone two weeks with no sign of the virus. An additional 34 travelers have already been cleared. Three of those had symptoms, but tests showed it was an unrelated to the coronavirus.

Indiana has instituted the same preparedness plan it used over the last decade for outbreaks of bird flu and the MERS virus, conducting weekly webinars and reaching out to hospitals and local health departments. If Indiana starts to see cases of coronavirus being transmitted from person to person, rather than contracted overseas, Box says the state would issue further recommendations, urging people to stay away from others until they recover.

The CDC says the immediate risk at this time is low but growing for Americans who do not have risk factors, such as travel to an impacted area or contact with a person who has had recent travel to China or other affected countries. However, the CDC has urged Americans to begin thinking about steps they would take if their daily lives are disrupted. Most at risk are the elderly and the young as well as those with compromised immune systems.

Indiana is working with local and federal partners to refine existing pandemic response strategies, which include specific measures to prepare communities to respond to local transmission of the virus.

State health officials urge Hoosiers to take common-sense steps to keep from contracting coronavirus.

Coronavirus is five-to-10 times deadlier than flu, though that still means it’s fatal in just two-percent of all cases. Box says 80-percent of the cases have been mild.

The Dubois County Health Department is working closely with the local hospital, labs and healthcare professionals when it comes to our procedures and preparing ourselves if there were a person under investigation for having been exposed to the 2019 novel Coronavirus.

Right now, no persons are under investigation in Dubois County, but we are taking every step possible to identify illness and ensure that our community stays healthy.

Much like the flu, human corona viruses are most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
  • Rarely, fecal contamination.

Common questions people have asked us are: Does the regular flu vaccine we have protect us against the Coronavirus?  The answer is, currently, there is no vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus.