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Rensselaer County Watching for Wuhan Coronavirus, and Taking Steps to Expand Monitoring for Wuhan, Says County Executive Steve McLaughlin

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin and County Public Health Director Maryfran Wachunas are joining other public officials across the state to make preparations and increase awareness about the Wuhan Coronavirus, a new and potentially deadly respiratory illness.

The Wuhan Coronavirus originated in Wuhan City, China, is fast-moving and believed to have arrived in the United States and Europe. The federal Centers for Disease Control are now screening passengers from China at five major airports and have issued a travel warning.

“This is a serious health issue nationally, and we are taking steps in Rensselaer County to stay current with a fast-moving situation and ensure necessary steps are taken to prepare,” said McLaughlin.

County health officials were part of a call Thursday from the state Health Department, which urged county officials across the state to be alert about the virus. There are two confirmed cases as of today. Dozens in the country are now being monitored for the illness. Federal health officials believe more cases of the disease will be discovered in this country in the coming days.

McLaughlin said the county Health Department will also be monitoring the situation and working with state officials as more information comes in regarding the Wuhan Coronavirus.

The county will be in regular contact with state health officials to ensure an effective exchange of information as the illness is tracked in the country and the state.

Additionally, county health will continue to ask any participants in the health clinics offered by the county their recent travel history, along with being observant for any unique symptoms related to the Wuhan Coronavirus, he added.

“I want to thank Mary Fran and her staff for very quickly preparing to monitor this important health situation. Screening participants in our clinics gives our county one line of defense in fighting this illness,” said McLaughlin.