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KMOV: Missouri health officials to meet Monday to talk about coronavirus response

Missouri health officials to meet Monday to talk about coronavirus response

March 2, 2020

ST. LOUIS ( -- The World Health Organization upgraded the global risk of virus spread to "very high," elevating the concern over a deadly strain of coronavirus.

Leaders in Missouri are meeting Monday in Jefferson City to talk about how to respond to the coronavirus. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will hold a public forum to share how they are responding to the global health crisis.

The current strain is blamed for killing more than 2,800 people and more than 83,000 people have gotten sick in at least 53 countries.

In the United States, there have been 60 confirmed cases, and two patients in Washington state have died.

Local health leaders are working with medical partners on the state and federal levels to better understand the current strain of coronavirus, as 20 people in the region have been tested for the virus, though there have been no positive tests.

[RELATED: Second person in United States dies from coronavirus]

“At this point, the risk of infection from this novel coronavirus is very low,” said St. Louis County Executive Sam Page. “There is no need to panic.”

Page said the county health department is in contact with the CDC and local hospitals monitoring the situation.

He also stated, just like with the normal flu, preventing the illness by washing hands and avoiding contact with sick individuals is the best plan.

“Prevention,” he said. “There isn’t a pill, there isn’t a silver bullet. Prevention is how you fight this epidemic.”

St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson also laid out a similar plan to fight the novel coronavirus in the city.

[RELATED: Metro East hospital patient negative for coronavirus]

Health officials addressed how they are tracking those people who have travelled to areas overseas where outbreaks occurred.

“We work really closely with the state health department. So the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services works really closely with the CDC and they have a division called the Global Migration Quarantine Division which tracks individuals coming from affected areas, so before the individuals actually arrive at our jurisdiction, we know who they are and we know how to contact them,” said St. Louis City Health Director Dr. Fredrick Echols.

The city health department is posting a frequently asked questions section on coronavirus on the city's website, along with providing a coronavirus hotline at 314-615-2660.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corpo

P.O. Box 410091
Saint Louis, MO 63141
Paid for by Page for Missouri, Sue Felling, Treasurer

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