Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer said almost every county in the state has people being monitored for coronavirus, but would not say if that included anybody from Douglas County.
The Oregon Health Authority website reported that 76 people in Oregon are being monitored for the coronavirus, but no one had tested positive yet.
“There are people throughout the state that are being monitored,” Dannenhoffer said. “And it does appear that we may be making progress on a vaccine, so that’s the good news.”
The coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City, China, and has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including 14 confirmed cases in the United States. But so far, none of those in Oregon that are being monitored have tested positive for the flu-like infection.
On Jan. 30, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.”
The current number of people monitored by the OHA is 76, down from 254 people that were being monitored for symptoms of the virus statewide.
Dannenhoffer said the coronavirus can appear much like the flu but comes with a longer incubation period — usually two to 14 days, compared to two to four days for the regular flu. It starts with a fever and a cough, much like the flu. People with severe cases, Dannenhoffer said, go on to have more respiratory illness.
Part of the reason for the spreading of the virus is that some people are infected but show no symptoms, so they spread the virus without knowing. The virus can affect all segments of the population.
“It does appear that older people are at far higher risk of having severe disease and death,” Dannenhoffer said.
He recommends travelers be careful about crowded areas and wash their hands to lessen the chance of contracting the virus.