Benton County Public Health continues to work with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local partners to monitor and respond to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and has since been detected in other parts of the world, including the U.S.
As Spring Break nears, many Iowans are making travel preparations. IDPH and Benton County Public Health remind vacationers to make protecting their health part of their plans. Whether traveling to a sunny beach, a ski resort or enjoying a staycation, take time to learn about and prepare for health concerns.
Across the country, the greatest health risk to Benton County residents is from influenza; however, it is appropriate to take precautions against the COVID-19 virus. “The prevention for COVID-19 is similar to how you protect yourself from a variety of viruses, like influenza,” said Benton County Public Health Director Katie Cox BSN, RN. “Cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently, and stay home from work or vacation when ill.”
We continue to learn more about COVID-19 as the response progresses. Most often, person-to-person spread is thought to happen among people in close contact (about 6 feet) with each other. This spread is believed to occur when an infected person coughs or sneezes and droplets land on another person’s nose or mouth. Therefore, when at home or traveling, it is important to avoid being near people who are visibly ill. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
IDPH posts statewide numbers of persons being monitored, persons being tested and test results on the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Visit this web page often for up-to-date information and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.