NORTH ANDOVER, MA — The risk of the new coronavirus to North Andover residents remains low, the town Board of Health said in an announcement Tuesday. As of Feb. 3, there were 11 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States, with one in Massachusetts. Over 17,000 people have been confirmed to be infected since it was discovered in Wuhan, China in December.
“While information is still being collected about this virus, what we do know at this time is that coronaviruses are respiratory viruses that are generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) from an infected person to another person,” the town announcement reads. “Symptoms can begin to appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and in severe cases, pneumonia.”
There is no vaccine or targeted antiviral treatment for this coronavirus, yet. The update from the town continues:
“Although the risk of the coronavirus to North Andover residents remains low, people are advised to continue to take many of the same steps they are already doing to prevent the common cold and the flu, including:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Stay home when feeling sick.”
Christopher Huffaker can be reached at 412-265-8353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.