Despite low risk at this time, Public Health preparing for coronavirus

DPHSS Director Linda DeNorcey says her agency tracked down a suspected patient Wednesday morning and cleared him of coronavirus

Eight cities in China have been locked down since the emergence of a newly identified coronavirus which has killed 26 people and infected at least 830 in China and at least eight other countries.

Because there are no direct flights from the disease’s point of origin in Wuhan, China, Guam is considered to be low risk at this time.

Despite the low-risk level for Guam at this time, the Department of Public Health and Social Services is preparing to engage the airport, Guam Homeland Security, hospitals, and other agency partners to monitor and prevent the spread of the disease to Guam.

This would involve having airlines notify Public Health of any sick flight passengers and assessing them to see whether they have been infected.

In addition, DPHSS Director Linda DeNorcey says that the agency is trying to procure equipment in response to the virus. Because this is a newly discovered virus, not much is known about how it is transmitted.

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“Our Public Health Emergency Preparedness team is ordering all the thermometers as we speak, so we’re trying to prep up our equipment in that regard. And masks and all the safety protective equipment,” DeNorcey said.

Those who are concerned about respiratory infection should wash their hands, avoid people who are sick, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Cases of the virus have emerged in South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S., and Japan which has just confirmed its second case of coronavirus.