OK health officials: Stay aware of coronavirus travel advisories

Coronavirus

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma health officials are advising community members to avoid nonessential travel to parts of Asia in light of the growing coronavirus outbreak.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health issued a news release encouraging community members to heed advisories issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC recommends that nonessential travel to China and South Korea be avoided.

The CDC also issued an alert advising adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions to consider postponing nonessential travel to Japan, Iran, and Italy.

All travelers are asked to reconsider cruise ship voyages to or within Asia.

OSDH State Epidemiologist Laurence Burnsed stressed the importance of monitoring travel advisories, especially for international travel.

“As public health officials, our goal is to reduce the risk of contracting the virus and returning to the United States after traveling to a destination where the virus is being spread from person-to-person,” said Burnsed. “The immediate health risk to the general American public is still low.”

OSDH officials recommend that people traveling internationally get insurance in case their international destination becomes an area with community spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

While the CDC does not currently recommend canceling trips to Hong Kong, travelers are advised to “practice the usual precautions of washing hands frequently, avoiding people who are sick and avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands,” according to the news release.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

“The OSDH continues to work with local, county, state and federal partners to monitor travelers who return to Oklahoma from China. Travelers are contacted by health officials and monitored daily for 14 days following their departure from China,” the news release states.

There is no vaccine or cure for the virus at this time.

Visit the OSDH link to coronavirus updates to monitor travel advisories and other updates associated with COVID-19.

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