LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Prepare for a global pandemic. That was the warning from the CDC Tuesday as the coronavirus continues to spread overseas.
Right now, the COVID-19 coronavirus is contained in the United States, but more than 2,700 people have died from it overseas — mostly in China. Federal health officials warn containment efforts will become more difficult at our nation's borders.
Health officials are reporting 57 cases of the virus in the U.S. So far, none of those cases are in Kentucky or Indiana.
University of Louisville Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Forest Arnold told WDRB News his team is preparing for the potential spread.
"We're preparing by keeping ourselves abreast of what's going on nationally. We're making sure we have supplies," Arnold said.
Those at Norton Healthcare said they are also preparing to handle any possible coronavirus cases.
"There's not a concern at Norton Healthcare that we couldn't manage a case or a handful of cases," Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Paul Schulz said. "Some of the infrastructure we have in place dates back to the Ebola preparations that were done."
The Louisville Metro Health Department said a few weeks ago it created a specialized communicable disease management team.
"Which is some high-level folks within the health department," Paul Kern, the Louisville Metro Health Department's Emergency Preparedness director, said. "The whole idea was just to look at what was happening. Go back and look at what we did with hepatitis A, and how did we get out ahead of that so quickly."
Health officials explain the key for preparation is education.
"We also look at what can we do to let the public know for preventive measures because I think in this situation non-pharmaceutical interventions are going to be important," Kern said.
One of those interventions is washing your hands. Also, if you are sick, Kern reminds people to cover their cough and stay at home, simple tips that could help in avoiding a coronavirus pandemic.
Norton Healthcare said that last week a patient was tested for the coronavirus, but thankfully doctors said that person tested negative.
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