February 12 2020

Burlington Board of Health Releases Information on Coronavirus for Residents

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Board of Health has released information regarding the Coronavirus, now called 2019-nCoV, with the public. 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, a release explains.  


“As this is an evolving situation, the Board of Health will continue to monitor information provided by the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health through announcements and conference calls,” the release states.


According to the CDC, as of February 12 there have been 13 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States. According to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s office, one of those cases involved a man in Boston who was diagnosed on January 31 after traveling to Wuhan, China. The mayor’s office says the risk level of the virus remains low in Massachusetts. 


According to the Board of Health, coronaviruses are respiratory viruses and are generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) of an infected person to another person. Symptoms of novel coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and, in severe cases, pneumonia.  


Below is a list of precautions that could help prevent exposure to respiratory viruses/illnesses which includes the flu and Coronavirus:


- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers and rub till completely dry.

- Cough/sneeze into a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately into a trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hands.

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

- Avoid close contact with others who are sick.

- If you are sick stay home, seek health care, and avoid contact with others such as meetings and events.

- Clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces.


The CDC has also provided a list of what people should not do:


 - Do not travel to China.

- Do not use facemasks. CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general public to prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV.

- Do not show prejudice to people of Asian descent, because of fear of this new virus. Do not assume that someone of Asian descent is more likely to have 2019-nCoV.


“The Board of Health would like to remind residents that we are currently in the peak of cold and flu season,” the release states. “So far this season, the CDC has estimated 19 million flu illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths from the flu nationally. Please follow the precautions mentioned above to avoid exposure to the flu virus.  In addition, if your child has not yet received a flu vaccination, you can call the Board of Health at 781-270-1955 to make an appointment for a free flu vaccination.”


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