The Center for Disease Control says there are 14 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, however that number does not include people who returned to the U.S. on state department-chartered flights.
There are zero cases in the Rio Grande Valley, however, local health experts say we’re not yet completely in the clear.
“This is an emerging viral infection that is changing every day, it can mutilate itself every single day and become more lethal,” said Eddie Olivarez, director for Health and Human Services of Hidalgo County.
Wednesday, the CDC warned Americans to prepare for an outbreak.
Nancy Messonnier the director for CDC said: “It’s not a question of if this will happen but when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses and disruption to everyday life might be severe.”
However, it is that disruption that local officials say they’re prepping for.
“We are in daily communication with our hospitals, health care and our schools, we have state officials here as well and we have daily communication with the state and the feds,” said Olivarez.
There are easy ways to stop the viral disease from spreading.
“Basic hygiene, easiest thing you can do is cover your mouth when you sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, if you have a fever go to a doctor,” said Olivarez.
However, a doctor can not confirm you have the coronavirus- only the CDC can.
“The threat to us here in the U.S. is very minimal, low risk, however, we need to have public awareness of this illness, we need to be vigilant and have the confidence that we can contain this,” said Olivarez.
Hidalgo County health officials are working with local school districts as well as state and federal agencies to prevent an outbreak in the Valley.
There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, however, UTRGV is conducting research on the virus.