(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is leading the state’s efforts to educate Hoosiers about the 2019 novel coronavirus that originated in China, ensuring that the public, healthcare providers and local health departments have the latest information available to keep themselves and their communities healthy.
“There continues to be no confirmed cases of 2019 novel coronavirus in Indiana at this time,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “At my direction, the Indiana State Department of Health is working in close coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other federal, state and local partners, to share information and monitor this evolving public health situation. While there is no need for immediate concern, the state will remain on alert to ensure Hoosiers are protected.”
Indiana currently has no suspected cases of novel coronavirus under investigation. One Hoosier who recently traveled to China is on self-quarantine in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. That individual is not symptomatic, and all appropriate measures are being taken. No additional information about the individual will be provided due to privacy laws.
State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, said information about the novel coronavirus outbreak is changing rapidly and encouraged Hoosiers to check the ISDH website for the most current information.
“We learn something new every day about this illness,” Box said. “While the news reports are concerning, I want to reassure Hoosiers that the majority of the patients under investigation in the U.S. so far have tested negative for novel coronavirus and remind them that seasonal influenza poses a greater health risk at this time.”
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
- Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands; and
- Rarely, fecal contamination.
The best way to protect yourself from any respiratory illness, including the flu, is to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you are a healthcare provider with a patient who is experiencing symptoms of novel coronavirus or an individual who has symptoms and recently traveled to China, please contact the ISDH Epidemiology Resource Center at 317-233-7125 [317-233-1325 after hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org.