MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Department of Health is reassuring residents that there are no known cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Chautauqua County and that the risk to the general public remains low.
Additionally, health officials say they are prepared for outbreaks of the communicable disease.
“While there is currently no vaccine for the coronavirus, everyday preventative actions can help stop the spread of this virus and many other respiratory illnesses,” said Christine Schuyler, County Director of Health and Human Services. “Influenza remains widespread and a much larger threat at this time than the novel coronavirus poses.”
Officials say preventive measures for respiratory illnesses such as Influenza and Coronavirus include, getting a flu shot and washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after they are soiled.
Additionally, officials say avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you are sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
According to health officials, there are seven types of coronaviruses. Most cause respiratory symptoms similar to the common cold, with mild to moderate illness, such as coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1.
These four types of coronavirus are quite common and not worrisome. Only SARS, MERS and Novel Coronavirus frequently cause severe illness.
“If there was a case in the County, residents would hear about it from us,” said Schuyler. “Testing for this new type of coronavirus cannot be performed without the cooperation of both the Local and State Health Departments. Both departments would be involved in notifying the public to limit the spread of the illness.”
The New York State Department of Health continues to update guidance to local health departments, healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, clinical laboratories and educational institutions, providing updated information about the outbreak, and ensuring appropriate protocols are in place.