Ga. health officials partner with CDC to monitor coronavirus

ByZach LoganandJennifer Lifsey|January 28, 2020 at 6:29 AM EST - Updated January 28 at 7:21 AM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Authorities in Germany have confirmed the country’s first case of the coronavirus that emerged in central China.

Thousands have been infected in various countries, including five confirmed cases here in the U.S.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says it’s closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak that is happening in China. Our area Coastal Health District says it is also monitoring the outbreak and asking people across the Coastal Empire to stay vigilant.

Right now, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the groups taking the reins on monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and cases in the U.S.

At least 106 people have lost their lives in China due to the virus. The outbreak began last month in Wuhan, China.

Health officials say the coronavirus is a family of viruses, typically found in animals, but at times can be found in humans. The virus can be spread from person to person. So, agencies across the globe are now monitoring the outbreak and trying to prevent it from spreading any further.

At this time, the CDC has confirmed five cases of the coronavirus infection in the U.S. - one in Arizona, two in California, one in Washington state and one in Illinois.

Throughout the last few days, five American airports have started screening procedures for those coming from the Chinese province, including Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The CDC just announced on Monday that they will boost staffing at 20 U.S. airports within the coming days.

WTOC asked our district health director about the screenings. He says those flying from the affected area have their body temperatures checked.

“How effective that will be remains to be seen. We hope it is, but you know people could have a normal body temperature but then develop the illness later on,” said Lawton Davis, Health Director for Coastal Health District.

The Coastal Health District says anyone feeling flu-like symptoms should consult their primary care physician, especially if they have traveled to China within the last few weeks.

Health officials say the coronavirus usually causes a mild to moderate upper respiratory illness that more than likely will go away on its own. However, it does have the capability to cause pneumonia, which can be dangerous for older adults, infants, and those with weakened immune systems.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Photo: CBS News

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