DHHS asking Nebraskans who recently traveled to China to contact health department

By  | 

LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and its partners continue to closely monitor the unfolding outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

The virus originated in China and has spread beyond the country’s borders with confirmed cases now reported in multiple other countries including 11 in the United States. So far, there have been no cases identified in Nebraska.

In accordance with the recently declared public health emergency, the U.S. government implemented temporary measures to increase the ability to detect and contain 2019 n-CoV proactively and aggressively, which include the monitoring and self-isolation of arriving travelers from China. Any citizens arriving in the U.S. from Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak, will be placed under federal quarantine and monitored. Both of these measures went into effect Feb. 2.

DHHS is also asking that travelers who left China within the last two weeks to contact their local health department for guidance and next steps. Informing the local health department of recent travel history to China is the most direct way to ensure timely medical care if needed and to minimize the potential risk to others. A map of Nebraska’s local health departments can be found at http://dhhs.ne.gov/CHPM%20Maps/NE_Health_Dept_Map_Dec_2016.pdf . A list of local health departments along with contact information is provided below.

It is important to remember that people who may become ill upon returning from China are more likely to have other respiratory illnesses typically seen this time of year like flu, which might also require treatment.

While CDC officials consider 2019 n-CoV a serious public health threat, they say the immediate health risk to the U.S. public continues to be low at this time.

Nebraska public health continues to take action to prevent the spread of disease and protect the health of Nebraskans. Here’s what we’re doing:

Sharing the latest guidance and information with local health departments, hospitals, health care providers, first responders and local and state labs through our extensive Health Alert Network to ensure a well-coordinated response in Nebraska. For the latest advisories, go to http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Health-Alert-Network.aspx
Engaging in active and ongoing communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other state and federal partners as part of the overall national response to this emerging public health threat.
Reviewing and enhancing response plans to be ready for the detection of this virus in our state.
Facilitating confirmatory testing, isolation and monitoring of Nebraskans experiencing symptoms to identify cases as soon as possible.
Updating dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus with the latest information and resources.
With our local health department partners, we have a system in place to track and monitor people who have contact with a suspected or confirmed case in an effort to immediately detect secondary cases and minimize the potential for ongoing, undetected, person-to-person transmission.
For the most up-to-date 2019-nCoV information and resources, go to dhhs.ne.gov/coronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

For frequently asked questions about 2019-nCov, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html