Coronavirus risk low in Carlsbad, hand washing, other normal precautions best defense
Carlsbad CA— City of Carlsbad public safety officials are closely monitoring developments with the coronavirus outbreak that began last December in China and reminding residents that simple steps like proper handwashing remain the best way to stay healthy:
- 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.
- 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.
The County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor and respond to suspected cases in the San Diego region. So far, one suspected case is awaiting test results.
According to the county’s public health official, the risk of infection for the general public is minimal for those who have not traveled to an area where the virus has been detected or had close contact with a patient who tested positive for this type of coronavirus.
City representatives are participating in regular briefings with public health officials and have taken initial steps to ensure the city is prepared should additional steps be needed:
- The city’s emergency services staff maintains detailed plans for how the city would respond to a wide variety of potential hazards, including public health emergencies.
- A team of city staff representing a cross section of city departments meets monthly to review preparedness plans.
- The January meeting focused on the status of the current flu season, historical trends in the spread of the flu and how the city responds to outbreaks.
- City officials and staff have been briefed on potential actions that could be needed to protect public health if the coronavirus or the seasonal flu were to spread in Carlsbad.
Patients infected with the coronavirus have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
County health officials recommend that those who have travelled to one of the known outbreak areas and start to develop symptoms contact their medical providers before showing up at their doctor’s offices. That way, doctors’ offices can take the necessary precautions to avoid infecting others prior to potential patients visit.
The county also recommends people not travel to affected areas unless absolutely necessary.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (named “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Chinese health officials have reported thousands of infections with 2019-nCoV in China, with the virus reportedly spreading from person-to-person in many parts of that country. Infections with 2019-nCoV, most of them associated with travel from Wuhan, also are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS.