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Clatsop County, OR

02/24/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/24/2020 11:19

Coronavirus: 211 help line offers information

Updated Feb. 21, 2020

The Oregon Health Authority has set up an information phone line to provide general information on the coronavirus. Call 211.

As of Feb. 21 there were no reported cases of coronavirus in Oregon.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the immediate health risk to the general public from the novel coronavirus is deemed to be low at this time.

Background: The CDC is closely monitoring a large international outbreak of a novel coronavirus. To date, one confirmed case of novel coronavirus has been identified in Washington State. The CDC website and the Washington State Department of Health website will have the most up-to-date information about the outbreak (see below).

About the outbreak: The current coronavirus outbreak originated in China but has now spread internationally. Community spread is occurring in China but no community spread has been identified in the United States at this time. On Jan. 21 the Washington State Department of Health announced the first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States. The patient recently returned from China where an outbreak of coronavirus has been ongoing since December. There is no evidence that the coronavirus is spreading in Washington and risk to the general public is low.

About the coronavirus: Coronaviruses are common in many different animals. Rarely, these viruses can evolve and infect humans. Public Health officials are working hard to identify the source of the 2019nCoV. This virus most likely came from an animal source and now seems able to spread from person to person. At this time it is not really clear how easily this virus spreads between people but it is thought they spread through respiratory droplets - breathing in infected droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

About the symptoms: People infected with coronavirus report mild to severe respiratory illness much like the common cold with symptoms including fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Symptoms usually start 2-14 days after exposure. Infection with the coronavirus may lead to more severe respiratory illness like bronchitis or pneumonia which can be life threatening for some people. People at highest risk for life threatening complications include infants, the elderly, people who already have other cardiopulmonary disease, and those with weakened immune systems.

I'm having symptoms, what do I do? If you are experiencing symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath) and you have reason to believe you may have been exposed to the coronavirus (through recent travel or through contact with someone infected with coronavirus) you should call your healthcare provider. Your provider will work with local public health departments and the CDC to determine if any additional testing is needed.

For the most up-to-date information, please check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

See links below for additional information