County: No Local Coronavirus Threat So Far

NORRISTOWN PA – So far here are no confirmed cases of the new strain of coronavirus in Montgomery County or Pennsylvania, the county Office of Public Health confirmed Tuesday (Jan. 28, 2020), and the threat of county residents becoming infected with the occasionally deadly illness “is low unless they have traveled to the Wuhan area of China or have been in contact with someone from Wuhan,” it said.

The office is nonetheless “working closely with the Philadelphia and state Departments of Health, and the Atlanta-based federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to monitor developments surrounding the respiratory outbreak, it added. Nationwide, there are dozens of potential cases currently being investigated by local, state, and federal health officials.

“If a case of the new coronavirus strain is confirmed in Montgomery County, that information will be made public,” the agency also pledged. Both it and the county Department of Public Safety said they are reviewing and updating all relevant emergency response plans, just in case.

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and can cause respiratory illness like the flu. Common coronaviruses cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, like a cold, the office explained. Transmission occurs via respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing or more close contact. It is not spread through simple airborne transmission.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and trouble breathing and can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure.

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