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Health officials in Billings weigh in on Coronavirus

Posted: 11:17 PM, Jan 23, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-24 01:18:51-05

BILLINGS — Chinese health officials have locked down three cities as they race to contain a mysterious illness known as the Coronavirus that has killed at least 17 people.

In Billings, officials at RiverStone Health are telling the public to pay attention but avoid panic.

"We would just like to say that we don't want people to be alarmed about it but we do want people to be aware," Riverstone Health Registered Nurse Kim Bailey said.

At this time, there is no immunization available for prevention of Coronavirus. Officials recommend sick people avoid areas of large crowds, and be diligent about washing hands.

"We are getting regular updates through the state from the CDC and we're communicating with providers in our area to keep them apprised of it,"Bailey said, "So it's on our radar and on providers' radar, and then of course to let them know to really watch for that travel history and people who have a travel history."

The Coronavirus has infected hundreds in at least six countries, including the U.S. Two cases have now been confirmed in America.

The illness is officially titled 2019 N Corona-virus. The N stands for novel, meaning the illness has never been seen before.

The virus can be spread through respiratory droplets and contact with someone who is ill.

Healthcare professionals are still learning information such as length of incubation and how easily it is transmittable.