ATLANTA – An outbreak of coronavirus occurring in China has the Georgia Department of Public Health on high alert.
State health officials said Friday the department is closely monitoring the outbreak and regularly coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. DPH is advising healthcare providers statewide to be alert for patients who have traveled form Wuhan, China and present with fever and respiratory symptoms.
Healthcare providers who suspect coronavirus infection in a patient should report them immediately to DPH by calling 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584).
To detect possible cases of coronavirus infection early and prevent further spread, the United States began actively screening incoming travelers from Wuhan at five select airports, including Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.
The outbreak, which began in Wuhan, in December now includes hundreds of confirmed infections and a growing number of deaths in several countries. Currently, there are two confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S.
The CDC said the best way to prevent infection of any respiratory virus is to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching the face with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with people who are sick; cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue away and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.