Mayor Daniel Rivera and the Local Board of Health report that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has indicated the risk for the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is "low". This categorization of risk was announced last week when Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) identified the first case in the United States on the West Coast.
Currently, there is an ongoing United States public health response to contain the outbreak and prevent sustained spread of the Coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, China. The CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of the respiratory illness. There are 5 positive cases in the United States and none in in Massachusetts. There is no vaccine available and no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV.
“Right now, the risk of contracting this virus is extremely low,” said Dr. Joel Gorn, City Physician and Chairman of the Lawrence Board of Health. “If you recently visited Wuhan, China and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical care immediately. More importantly, the recent attention to this new virus should serve as a reminder that ‘the flu season’ is here. Every year the season flu affects the lives of thousands of residents. If you haven’t been vaccinated, now is the time to get vaccinated.”
“It is the job of the CDC to be concerned and move quickly whenever there is a potential nationwide health problem,” said Mayor Rivera. “As for the Coronavirus, the City will continue to work with the Lawrence Board of Health and utilize national and state resources to provide updated information as the situation evolves. As a regular course of business, the City will continue to monitor all communicable diseases.”
“We should be mindful that its flu season”, Mayor Rivera continued. “Residents should take precautions and get a flu shot. Protect yourself, protect your family.” Lawrence residents are reminded “Protect yourself, protect your family.”
- Everyone needs a flu vaccine. Get flu vaccine every year as soon as it is available.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel, especially before touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the inside of your elbow if you don’t have a tissue.
- Use household cleaners to clean things that are touched often, like door knobs, toys, and phones.
- Avoid close physical contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home from work and school if you get sick with a flu-like illness.
For the most up-to-date information available on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, visit the CDC webpage https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html.
For other updates, Q&As, and downloadable fact sheets in multiple languages about the seasonal flu, visit the DPH webpage https://www.mass.gov/info-details/what-should-i-know-about-flu.