So far, the outbreak of novel corona-virus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China has infected over 60,000, and killed over 1,300 people. The World Health Organization has declared the 2019-nCoV a global health emergency. Although, Maryland has not identified a confirmed case, we are at high risk since we are living in a community when traveling back to China is common during Lunar New Year. Without necessarily precaution, we might not be immured of this highly infectious, rapidly spreading virus. Community health care professionals and CCACC concerned about the potential ripple effect of the outbreak of the 2019-nCoV virus on the local community. On Jan 31, 2020, physicians from Association of Chinese American Physicians (ACAP) and the CCACC-Pan Asian Volunteer Health Clinic, as well as 2 officials from Montgomery County Community Affair Office (CAO) joined a conference call to discuss local efforts. The three parties agree to form a task force: ACAP and the physicians will generate language appropriate, lay person friendly articles to educate the public on the disease, prevention, local resource for treatment. CAO will connect the group with the county health officer for local resource and guidance. CCACC will coordinate with local media and other communication efforts to get the words out.
On Friday February 7, 2020, AAHI and the Montgomery County Health and Human Services - MD Public Health Officer welcomed representatives from the CCACC's Pan Asian Volunteer Health Clinic to discuss what the county is doing to keep residents safe from the 2019 novel coronavirus.
Dr. Travis Gayles, Montgomery County Health Officer meet with representatives from CCACC and ACAP on 02/07/2020.
Dr. Gayles shared that there is not confirm case in Maryland, DC and Virginia. Currently, the risk for local outbreak is low. With years of experience working with CDC to fight infectious disease, such as Ebola and H5N1, the county and adjacent jurisdictions are ready to take on the challenge shall there is an outbreak. Dr. Galyes shared that there should be enough medical supplies and resources to deal with the crisis.
Dr. Gayles stressed the importance of prevention. He stated that according to CDC guideline, anyone who returns from infected area, or have direct contacts with confirmed 2019 nCoV patients should take 14 days quarantine period. He stated that good hygiene practices, such as washing your hand frequently, avoiding contact with sick patients are highly recommended. He stated that if you are not sick, masks are not necessary.