Northwest Missourian Opinion

Novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a virus that generally has mild effects in most people. However, the virus can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 is thought to be spread by coughs and sneezes of an infected person to a noninfected person. However, the virus can also be transmitted by close personal contact or contact with a surface that has been contaminated with the virus, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Symptoms of COVID-19 typically include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The symptoms appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Everyday precautions are essential to preventing COVID-19. These measures include proper handwashing, avoiding touching your face and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve. Prevention also includes social distancing and staying home when sick.

Individuals who think they are sick with COVID-19 symptoms should contact their health care provider by phone.

As of March 17, there were 15 positive cases in Missouri; none of those cases are in Nodaway County. Nodaway County Health Department continues to monitor the situation and provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to community partners and the public. More information is available at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has a 24-hour hotline for anyone with questions about COVID-19: 877-435-8411.

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