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January 28, 2020 3:26 PM

Town Advisory: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Update

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people similar to the flu virus. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China where the virus is spreading via person to person transmission. Currently, the 2019 novel coronavirus is not spreading in the United States.

Right now, the greatest risk of infection is for people in Wuhan China or people who have traveled to Wuhan and less so, other parts of China. While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time. Nevertheless, the CDC is taking proactive preparedness precautions.

Person-to-person spread in the United States has not yet been detected and it is unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection, so the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus by taking proactive actions that are recommend to stop the spread of any respiratory virus including:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Palm Beach Fire Rescue in partnership with the CDC and the Florida Department of Health, will continue to closely monitor the situation and will update the public immediately if there are actions that need to be taken to halt the spread of this virus. For more information , please contact Sean Baker at (561) 227-6433. Information regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus can also be obtained from the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html.

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