Coronavirus precautions

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While flu season is in full swing in KELOLAND, there’s a different virus grabbing people’s attention.

The CDC reports 15 positive cases of coronavirus in the U.S., with 81 cases still pending according to the latest report.

The CDC hasn’t confirmed any coronavirus cases in South Dakota just yet, but if that changes local clinics are prepared.

“We’re taking coronavirus really seriously. So if someone has been to China and they’re developing any symptoms that they’re concerned about, respiratory, fever, cough, they should be seen,” Haggar said.

Dr. Jennifer Haggar says before even entering the clinic, patients will see a sign.

“…there’s a sign that asks about their symptoms and their recent travel and provides them with a mask and the first steps that we’d want them to take to protect everyone,” Haggar said.

If you’re planning a visit to the clinic and believe you have been exposed to coronavirus, Haggar suggest calling ahead of time to inform health officials first.

“It’s certainly helpful if they can notify the clinic of that prior to the visit, and we can make sure they’re seen in the right place and in the safest way possible for them, for our staff, and for any other patients who might be in the area where they would go to,” Haggar said.

And even if you’re not already sick, experts have some advice on how to avoid it.

“Staying hydrated, drinking lots of water, making sure you’re washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, we all know that but it is very important,” Feist said.

Lewis Drug pharmacist Courtney Feist says keeping your immune system in good shape is a good start to avoid getting sick.

And while there are many immune system boosting supplements available, she says getting them from your diet is best.

“Getting your minerals, vitamins, from your diet is better than anything you can take over-the-counter as a supplement,” Feist said.

And if you’re considering buying face masks to protect yourself, Haggar says unless you have a certain condition or immune issues, it’s not necessary.

“I don’t think we’re at the point where just wearing a mask in the community is something you’d have to do,” Haggar said.

Feist adds that influenza is more of an immediate threat then coronavirus in South Dakota– and says flu shots are still available to those who need it.

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