Coronavirus Fears: Bay Area Health Officials Want Public to Remain Calm

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While fears grow over the new coronavirus out of China, health experts in the Bay Area want the public to remain calm as there are still no confirmed cases in the region.

The Bay Area response team addressing the viral illness said although information was released Thursday confirming there were "persons under investigation" in Alameda County, those people are being quarantined in their homes. They were tested for the virus, and those tests have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We not only investigate the case and confirm it once it's positive, but we take measures necessary to isolate the case as needed," Dr. Erica Pan with the Alameda County Public Health Department said. "We do what we call contact investigation or contact tracing to see who we think might have been exposed to that situation."

Health officials said they will no longer inform the public about "persons under investigation" because they do not want to alarm people about cases that might end up coming back negative.

As new cases of the coronavirus are reported around the world, a doctor explains where the 2019 Novel Coronavirus comes from and what you can do to protect yourself from the outbreak.

With local communities planning Lunar New Year events, San Francisco's health department is making sure to keep the public informed.

"We are actively, however, monitoring this very rapidly evolving situation and preparing to protect and insure the health of all San Franciscans," Susan Phillip with the San Francisco Department of Public Health said.

Amid the outbreak, health officials are reminding people to wash their hands often. They are also encouraging people to report any flu-like symptoms if they have traveled to Wuhan, China, recently or contacted someone who has recently been there.

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