The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is urging Hoosiers to take common-sense steps to prepare for the possibility that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) gains a greater foothold in the United States.
Indiana has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, and no one in the state is suspected of being infected at this time. To date, ISDH has worked with local health departments to monitor nearly 60 travelers in accordance with guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The number of people being monitored fluctuates as individuals complete the 14-day monitoring period. Currently, 26 individuals are being monitored in Indiana due to their history of travel or contact with an individual who has traveled to an affected country.
The CDC says the immediate risk at this time is low 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.
ISDH is working with state, 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.
COVID-19 is a new illness caused by a coronavirus that had not been previously identified. This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has since spread globally. It is thought to be spread mainly person-to-person between people in close contact (within 6 feet) when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath.
Because there is no vaccine and no treatment for COVID-19, these steps largely focus on staying home and mitigating the risk of community exposure should it become necessary.
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