Kevin Aston and Mikie Strite

Jackson County Health Commissioner Kevin Aston and Mikie Strite, an epidemiologist with the Jackson County Health Department, are shown during a press conference with local media on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. The pair talked about COVID-19 along with prevention.

JACKSON — Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, continues to spread in the United States, however, no confirmed cases have been reported in Jackson County.

The Jackson County Health Department decided to hold a press conference with local media on Friday, Feb. 28 to discuss COVID-19, along with prevention efforts.

Jackson County Health Commissioner Kevin Aston and Mikie Strite, an epidemiologist with the Jackson County Health Department, were on hand for the press conference.

“In Jackson County, there have been no cases of COVID-19,” explained Jackson County Health Commissioner Kevin Aston. “We have not had any Jackson County residents under investigation for potential infection, either.”

Aston added, “Sooner or later it will come to Jackson County, I think that is clear now. It’s going to make some people sick.”

The novel (new) coronavirus is a respiratory disease that was first detected in Wuhan, Chinaand which has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally, including in the United States.

“COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with there droplets,” explained Strite. “Symptoms of COVID-19 generally appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.”

Strite added, “Reported cases have ranged from mild illness (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization.. COVID-19 likely came from an animal because the first cases were linked to a large seafood, and animal market.”

As of Monday, March 9, there have been three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, all in the Cleveland area. The Ohio Department of Health is reporting that there have been 11 cases that tested negative.

Prevention is very important to protect yourself from all infectious diseases. Please follow these precautions:

  • Stay home when your sick
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
  • Dry hands with a clean towel
  • Cover your mouth with tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces often
  • Call before visiting your doctor
  • Practice good hygiene habits

“COVID-19 has only been identified in humans since December 2019,” said Aston. “Health experts are still learning the characteristics of this virus. They are concerned because the disease has the potential to cause severe respiratory illness in some people. There currently is no vaccine to prevent it.”

ODH, according to Aston, has created a call center which be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). This call center’s staff includes licensed nurses and infectious disease experts. They will be available to answer questions and provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public, and the state’s response.

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