SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, continues to spread throughout the world. With 9,776 confirmed cases and 213 deaths, the World Health Organization has declared this epidemic an emergency. Click here for an interactive map of the latest cases.
KELOLAND News reached out to the World Health Organization for an update on this epidemic. An official responded saying around 99% of cases have been reported in China. Apart from six cases, all of the confirmed illnesses have direct links to Wuhan or other parts of China.
In an email WHO shared with KELOLAND News:
WHO is working 24/7 with networks of scientists, clinicians, disease trackers, governments, supply chain experts and partners from the public and private sector to coordinate the new coronavirus response, in various fields, as for instance:
- Supplies: increasing vulnerable countries’ clinical management capacity with provision of case management starting kits (biomedical and essential supplies for the management of 100 cases), working with a broad pandemic supply chain network;
- Vaccines: working with networks of experts to accelerate access to therapeutics and vaccines for patients sick with the disease and carry out clinical trials to test identified therapeutics and vaccines;
- Clinical management: conducting regular briefings with clinician experts currently treating patients infected by 2019-nCoV to share case information and standardize data collection.
Susan Hoover is an Infectious Disease Specialist for Sanford Health. She said it’s important to remember that coronaviruses are also illnesses like the common cold. Dr. Hoover also said this 2019-nCoV is causing concern because it is a new type of coronavirus.
“This new virus appears to cause a somewhat more serious illness, but we still don’t know yet the full spectrum of it. We’re probably seeing the tip of the iceberg of the sicker patients, and there may be patients with milder illness, like a cold, who have not come to medical attention yet,” Hoover said.
Hoover also said no matter the illness to be sure to wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick and cover your mouth when you cough.
Specialists from Sanford and Avera say the current threat of having the illness in South Dakota is low. But, if a case was confirmed in the state both health organizations are properly prepared to handle it. Jawad Nazir is a Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Avera. He said Avera will be following the guidelines the CDC has in place.
“Identify. Isolate. And inform. So I think we have updated our travel questionnaires in our clinics and hospital settings so our nurses and physicians are asking appropriate questions to identify those patients. And, if we identify someone through that process, our focus is to isolate, as per the CDC recommendations, and inform the state health department and CDC,” Dr. Nazir said.