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Nancy Tausz and Theresa recording the podcast episode

JoCo on the Go: Understanding the coronavirus

JoCo on the Go podcast episode #29 includes conversations with Johnson County health experts Nancy Tausz and Dr. Ryan Jacobsen. They break down what the coronavirus (COVID-19) is and the steps Johnson County is taking should a case be suspected and/or confirmed in the county.  

The recent news about a Douglas County resident being tested for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) generated headlines on how local health officials plan to protect the community from this virus.

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment Preparedness Program Manager Steve Maheux says collaboration is important.

“We work closely with our partners across the healthcare system to evaluate the coronavirus outbreak and put protective measures in place wherever possible,” Maheux said.

Those measures include: staying up-to-date on the latest state and federal guidance from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; securing enough personal protective equipment, such as a face mask, if an outbreak occurs in the community; using existing tools to receive alerts if/when high-risk patients present at hospitals; and educating the public on risk and prevention.

While the immediate risk of this new virus to Johnson County residents is believed to be low at this time, the Department of Health and Environment says everyone can do their part to help prevent the spread of this virus:

WHAT YOU CAN DO

For everyone: It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and the Department of Health and Environment recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.

If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

For healthcare professionals: Watch for people with travel history to China and fever and respiratory symptoms. If you suspect someone has COVID-19, call the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 1-877-427-7317 to discuss testing. If you are a healthcare professional caring for a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures.

For travelers: Do not travel to China. Stay up-to-date with CDC’s travel health notices related to this outbreak.

More information about the current coronavirus outbreak can be found at www.jocogov.org/coronavirus

JoCo on the Go is available where you regularly listen to podcasts. Just search for the podcast by name and subscribe. Learn more about this podcast and get a complete transcript of each episode.

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