Coronavirus tips from Franklin County

MALONE — Franklin County Public Health Services announced Monday it is closely following Covid-19 coronavirus in partnership with the state Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local health care providers and facilities.

According to the CDC, at this time the immediate health risk from the coronavirus to the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, is considered low. Globally, however, cases are spreading fast.

The virus was first detected in China and had not been previously found in humans. It can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. No one has yet been diagnosed with this new virus in New York state.

However, this area is in the middle of flu season, when influenza and other respiratory diseases are common. As preventive measures to prevent the spread of germs, FCPHS recommends frequent hand washing and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs, countertops and tables, telephones and children’s toys.

Avoiding close contact with people who are ill, staying home when you are sick, and covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing are also encouraged. FCPHS also recommends flu vaccination for people ages 6 months and older, as well as keeping a supply of food, water, blankets and baby or pet food on hand.

For individuals considering travel out of the U.S. for business, study or vacation the FCPHS advises checking the CDC Travel Health Notices at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices. These notices are updated regularly.

There are no restrictions for local or regional travel, and there are no closings of colleges or universities.

More information and updates about this new Covid-19 is available from the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/wuhan and the state DOH at http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus.