Mississippi health officials monitoring coronavirus outbreak

By SPECIAL TO THE SUN-SENTINEL,

JACKSON (Friday, Jan. 31, 11:13 a.m.) — The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners within the state health system to ensure Mississippi is prepared if there is a case in the state.

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in late December. The virus has quickly spread in China with several thousand cases, and additional cases have now been confirmed in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States.

In the U.S., there have been a total of six cases of the virus reported with more than 100 under investigation as possible cases. The risk of transmission of this virus in the U.S. is low. So far, Mississippi has no persons under investigation or confirmed cases.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation, but it’s important to note that the immediate risk to the Mississippi public is low at this time. We need to be prudent and monitor the situation, work with the CDC, and continue working with our healthcare systems throughout the state,’’ said State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs. “There should be more concern in preventing the spread of seasonal flu than this coronavirus right now. We are in peak season and the flu is highly infectious.”

Those who could be at risk are those who have recently traveled to China, especially the Wuhan City area, in the past two to 14 days or those who have had close contact with someone who is a confirmed case or a case under investigation.

Symptoms of coronavirus mostly include flu-like illness such as fever, cough, and congestion.

Currently, the CDC recommends that travelers avoid nonessential travel to China.

Follow MSDH by email and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.

Obituaries

SCOBEY — James Robert Womble, 85, of Scobey, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 12, at his home.