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Niagara County health officials speak on coronavirus and prevention

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Days after the Erie County Health Commissioner did so, Niagara County health officials offered an update on coronavirus concerns.

As Dr. Gale Burstein stated in Erie County nearly one week ago, no cases of novel coronavirus strain 2019-nCoV, a new strain not previously found in humans, have been identified within the Empire State.

“There are currently zero confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York,” said Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton in a prepared written statement released Tuesday. "While the risk for Niagara County is low, we have increased our vigilance to ensure community members are protected."

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Symptoms are similar to those of a cold or influenza. The latter, health officials point out, has a higher risk of spreading locally at this time.

Stapleton says county health officials are in contact with the New York State Department of Health and other partners to prepare a plan in the event a suspected case is detected. The state health department has posted information online about novel coronavirus.

"While the Niagara County Department of Health continues to prepare for infectious disease events, no additional precautions are recommended for the general public at this time beyond the simple daily precautions that everyone should be taking,” said Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton in a prepared written statement. “Flu is still prevalent in New York, and therefore we encourage the public to get vaccinated, stay home from work and/or school if sick and take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.”

The origin of the outbreak is Wuhan, China. Health officials say anyone who feels symptoms and has traveled to China, or has been in close contact with some possibly exposed, should seek medical attention. First, officials add, one must notify a doctor's office or emergency room of recent travel and symptoms before showing up.

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