The Watertown Health Department announced that no cases of the deadly Coronavirus have been reported in town, but like officials from the Federal government down to the local level, they are monitoring the situation.
The Watertown Health Department is providing updates, information and tips on its webpage: https://www.watertown-ma.gov/186/Health.
The spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Asia and Europe has made headlines. On Wednesday, President Trump announced the appointment of Vice President Mike Pence to lead the Coronavirus effort in the U.S. The same day, the first case of the virus being transmitted to someone who had not traveled overseas was reported in California.
Countries that have had major outbreaks have taken steps to try to stop the spread. In Japan, schools have been closed until April. The virus began in China, and South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran have reported large numbers of cases.
The Coronavirus is a respiratory viruses which spreads through respiratory secretions, such as droplets from coughs and sneezes, according to the Mass. Department of Public Health. Symptoms include a fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and, in severe cases, pneumonia.
“While most people recover from this infection, some infections can lead to severe disease or death. Older people and those with pre-existing medical problems seem to have a greater risk for severe disease,” according to the Mass. DPH announcement.
Measures people can take to prevent getting the Coronavirus are similar to avoiding the flu. The Watertown Health Department recommends:
- Wash your hands often with water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sneeze or cough into the inside of your elbow, then immediately wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect touched objects or surfaces with a disinfectant.
- Stay at home if you are sick and have a fever.
- Avoid contact with people that are sick.
Massachusetts has had only one confirmed case of Coronavirus (a man who had recently returned from Wuhan, China), and 680 people in the Bay State have been quarantined. As of Wednesday 377 completed the quarantine without symptoms and 231 remain in self quarantine, according to a story on NBC Boston Channel 10. There have been 60 confirmed cases in the United States, as of Wednesday.
Mass. DPH recommends you be tested for the virus if you have been to a place where the Coronavirus is occurring, or have had close contact with someone who has it, and are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Find out more information by clicking here: https://www.mass.gov/guides/information-on-the-outbreak-of-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19
The Watertown Health Department sent out the following information:
The Coronavirus COVID-19 is a new virus that originated in China, it spreads rapidly and has extreme health consequences. The Watertown Health Department has posted information on its webpage and will keep updating that information as it becomes available.
We are guided by the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health on actions to take in the event we are at risk for the virus. Currently there are no cases in Watertown, and there have been no cases in Watertown.
Up to date information is available at the following websites.