Nassau County issues health advisory about coronavirus

A map showing the locations of outbreaks connected to the coronavirus (2019-nCoV). ( CDC )

Authorities in Nassau County, Long Island, issued a health advisory in connection with the spread of the potentially deadly strain of coronavirus that originated in China.

The county is home to one of the fastest-growing Asian populations, according to the office of the county executive, so officials are concerned about the possibility of the virus spreading from travelers from China.

County Executive Laura Curran and County Health Commissioner Lawrence Eisenstein held a news conference Friday to announce the precautions the county is taking.

“We understand people are concerned, but we are urging everyone to stay calm as the risk to Nassau County is low at this time,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. 

Authorities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are conducting what they call "enhanced health screenings" at several major U.S. airports for passengers arriving from or traveling through China's Wuhan province, which is the epicenter of the outbreak.

Health authorities in Wuhan province have restricted travel in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus, which can cause headaches, a runny nose, fever, sore throat, and cough. Human coronaviruses can result in lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis, the CDC said.

The World Health Organization said it is monitoring developments in the outbreak but is not yet calling it a global emergency.

"In addition to providing care to patients and isolating new cases as they are identified, Chinese public health officials have reported that they remain focused on continued contact tracing, conducting environmental assessments at the wholesale market, and investigations to identify the pathogen causing the outbreak," WHO stated on its website. "In line with standard protocols for any public health event, an incident management system has been activated across the three levels of WHO (country office, regional office, and headquarters) and the Organization is prepared to mount a broader response, if needed."

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