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Montana health officials keeping an eye out for the Coronavirus



The severe respiratory illness known as the Coronavirus has now made appearances in three US states, Washington, California, and the latest in Texas.

Thursday the CDC confirmed a student at Texas A&M has contracted the Coronavirus after going on a trip to China.

“The patient has traveled to the area of concern and contracted mild symptoms after returning,” Brazos County Health Authority Dr. Eric Wilke said.

But university officials say the immediate health risk to the campus community is low. That’s because the Coronavirus is not airborne and can only be spread through close contact.

“You really have to had been coughed on, have close contact to somebody,” Missoula City County Infectious Disease Specialist Pam Whitney said.

While this virus is not highly contagious airlines are taking precautions, one United passenger describes the sign she saw getting off the plane.

“It said if you are coming from Wuhan let us know, if you have a fever let us know.”

But here in Montana chances of being exposed is low.

“Unless you have actually been exposed to somebody who has been diagnosed you are really not to be concerned,” Whitney said.

But it doesn’t hurt to stay prepared. Whitney says just like the flu, you can keep yourself healthy by regularly washing your hands and wearing a protective mask.

The Missoula City County Health Department also said if you have traveled to the Wuhan region in the last two weeks and have developed a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing you should tell a health official about your travel history and symptoms right away.

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