BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) -- With thousands of confirmed cases and over 20 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus in China, McLean County health officials are saying the risk is low in central Illinois.
“At this time the level of risk to the public remains low, however, if that changes or if there are any confirmed cases within our county, we will share that information,” said Jessica McKnight, administrator at the McLean County Health Department.
There have been five confirmed cases in the U.S. but no person-to-person spread has been detected as of January 29, according to the MCHD.
The second confirmed case in the U.S. was located in Chicago.
“The health department is collaborating with community and healthcare agencies to ensure mechanisms are in place to adequately and appropriately identify any possible cases and report to MCHD immediately,” said Melissa Graven, clinical health service supervisor at the MCHD.
The Center for Disease Control is urging travlers to avoid non-essential visits to China.
The MCHD is said if someone has travelled to Wuhan City, where the virus is believed to have originated, and develops symptoms to stay home and call their primary care provider or emergency room before seeking medical care.
Christina Nulty, director of Student Health Services at Illinois State University, said a small number of faculty and students have traveled to China in recent months, but no reports have been received of anyone experiencing symptoms.