State health officials say they are working with local agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the spread of coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Currently, there are no confirmed cases in North Carolina. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release Wednesday that the risk to the general public in North Carolina, especially without history of travel to China, is low. No additional precautions are recommended at this time.
"We continue to monitor the spread of this novel coronavirus very closely," said State Health Director and DHHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson. "While people should take this new virus seriously, at this time of year, respiratory illnesses in people in North Carolina are most likely due to infection with influenza or viruses that cause the common cold. People should take precautions to protect themselves and others from these infections, including washing your hands frequently, covering your cough, avoiding close contact with people who are sick and making sure you have gotten your annual flu shot."
According to the release, The NCDHHS Division of Public Health is working with local health departments and health care providers to evaluate all potential case and coordinate care and testing as needed. DPH is also sharing new information with the CDC. If you traveled to areas where 2019-nCoV outbreaks have occurred and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within two weeks of leaving, health officials say you should avoid contact with others and seek medical attention immediately.
Coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. The first case in the U.S. was announced January 21, 2020 in Washington State. So far, there have been five confirmed cases to date.