Beaufort Co. preparations underway for threat of coronavirus

Beaufort Co. preparations underway for threat of coronavirus

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - The spread of the coronavirus has prompted the World Health Organization to upgrade the global risk of virus spread to “very high.”

So far, the virus is blamed for killing more than 2,800 people worldwide. In the U.S., there are 60 confirmed cases.

As coronavirus becomes more of a threat here is the U.S., health officials are saying that for residents of the Lowcountry, your biggest threat for being infected, is actually right here.

While there are no reported cases of coronavirus in the Lowcountry, health officials say they want everyone to use safe practices, now.

“Hand washing! I know it doesn’t sound very glamorous but keep yourself healthy," said Infectious Disease Nurse Janet Briggs.

Coronavirus is airborne and droplet based, which means it infects people when they breathe it in.

“We touch everything, and then we touch or face, that’s how everyone get’s everything. These bugs don’t fly, and they don’t walk.”

“More importantly you need to wash your hands with soap and water, and then it’s a good idea after you’ve come into contact, to use hand sanitizer," said Nurse Kristie Kirkpatrick.

Doctors say at this point, you should wash your hands every time you go into public.

“Everybody is at risk," said Briggs.

Doctors worry most about the older Lowcountry residents.

“Maybe your question is, ‘who’s at risk for more severity?’ And they are seeing the elderly, over 65.”

More than younger.

“What’s interesting is they have found many patients, probably younger, that have no symptoms. They are very mild or they have a little cold.”

But say everyone should be ready.

“You have to be prepared to be in your house and self quarantined probably for about two weeks.”

But ask that no one let fear intrude in their daily life.

“Walking around with a mask is not going to help you. Walking around with gloves on is not going to help you. You’ve got gloves on you’re still touching everything. You’re not going to wash your gloves. That’s not going to help.”

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