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Coronavirus: Riverside County responds to SoCal cases

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BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 26: A Chinese girl wears a protective mask as she stands on an overlook towards the Forbidden City, which was closed by authorities, during the Chinese New Year holiday on January 26, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to over 2000 in mainland China Sunday as health officials locked down the city of Wuhan earlier in the week in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts have confirmed can be passed from human to human. In an unprecedented move, Chinese authorities put travel restrictions on the city which is the epicentre of the virus and neighbouring municipalities affecting tens of millions of people. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to at least 56 on Sunday and cases have been reported in other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Riverside County health officials are working with state and federal representatives to monitor the cases of novel coronavirus (nCoV) from the Wuhan, China outbreak.

Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser confirmed there have been no confirmed cases in Riverside County. And there is a higher chance of catching the flu.

"I have vinyl disposal gloves, 50 pack for a couple of dollars, work in a dental office I have a whole of earlobe masks, travel safe lysol," said Chanete McDonald.

Chante McDonald, from Yucca Valley is traveling this week. She's talked with her kids about the Coronavirus.

“I am, my daughter and nine year old and I had a talk about it that I need to protect myself and make sure I don’t bring anything home when I get back to the airport on Sunday,"said McDonald.

There are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Riverside County at this point, but health officials are being proactive.

The Department of Public Health tells News Channel 3's they are coordinating with schools, hospital, and emergency medical system to ensure a fast response if a case is identified in Riverside County.

"We are making sure we have one hospital to act as a place for guidance to come out of. We want to make sure that a patient is entering that system that we know where they are and public health can track them," said Dr. Cameron Kaiser.

"I just completed a conference call with California Department of Public health and they gave us guidance regards to the Coronavirus, monitoring signs and symptoms and screening our patients," said Steve Hermann, Manager of Infection Prevention, Desert Regional Medical Center.

Desert Regional Medical Center, Infection Specialist, Steve Hermann has prepared his team.

"You want to screen your patients and you would put them into isolation if they are a suspect and then you would contact your local county health official," said Hermann.

At Eisenhower Health, medical professionals are also screening patients for travel to China and taking extra precautions with those cases.

Infection prevention is conducting drills for front line staff in emergency settings.

They have a pandemic emergency plan in place.

Local school districts are on alert for symptoms, including running nose, headache, cough, and fever. Plus, risk a factor of a specific connection to possible exposure to the virus.

"Everyone should be a little bit prepared at least a little bit especially for the kids," said Cynthia Nievas, Yucca Valley parent.

These are the recommendations local school leaders now have in hand from the county.

Officials say these steps are very similar to how they reacted to the SARS virus in 2002.

News Team / Top Stories

Dani Romero

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