Del Norte Public Health (DNPH) and Del Norte Office of Emergency Services (OES) are aware of a confirmed case and one suspect case of COVID-19, otherwise known as the Wuhan coronavirus, identified in Humboldt County.

As has been done elsewhere for other cases in California, monitoring and isolation procedures are in place for these persons.

Del Norte County does not have any cases, and the risk remains low for the general public of either county. The persons involved have not been affected to the point of requiring hospitalization.

The COVID-19 virus is a respiratory disease and a member of the coronavirus family that was first found in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Symptoms include a fever, coughing, difficulty breathing and, in serious instances, organ failure. Since it was first detected, it has infected around 75,000 people across the globe and killed over 2,000, mostly in China. 

The virus, however, is considered to be a mild infection over 80% of the time, and the persons who are becoming severely ill are usually those who are most likely to get pneumonia, such as the elderly and chronically ill. Even among that group, those infected are likely to recover completely, according to Dr. Warren Rehwaldt, a DNPH officer.

The overall risk of dying from this infection is very low, currently estimated at 2 to 3%. Many experts in the field believe that the true risk is actually much lower. The best protection measures for when or if the COVID-19 virus reaches the general population is the same for FLU – cover sneezes and coughs, wash hands, wash surfaces, such as door knobs and faucet handles, and stay home when sick.

All of these are common sense measures that work to prevent or delay transfer of germs of all kinds. Flu season is not over and Type A flu is on the rise in many parts of the country.

Those who have not been vaccinated for the flu, can still do so now. While experts do not know if a vaccination can help people cope with COVID-19, it certainly cannot hurt, and it always helps the health of our community to have as many people vaccinated for flu as is possible, according to Rehwaldt.


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