Breaking News
More (1) »

Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

OSDH: 2 People In Oklahoma Test Negative For Coronavirus

OKLAHOMA (KFSM) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) confirmed Friday (Jan. 31) that two people who were being monitored for coronavirus have tested...

OKLAHOMA (KFSM) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) confirmed Friday (Jan. 31) that two people who were being monitored for coronavirus have tested negative for the virus.

This came after earlier this week when the OSDH officials announced two people met the criteria to be tested for possible novel coronavirus in Oklahoma.

OSDH said they have received confirmation Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the subjects tested negative for the virus.

At this time, there are no other persons in Oklahoma who meet the established criteria for testing, according to OSDH.

OSDH Commissioner of Health Gary Cox said the risk to the general public is low, but OSDH will continue to be vigilant and continue planning and communicating with all local, state and federal partners as the investigation of this worldwide event continues.

“We appreciate the work of the OSDH Acute Disease Service and the CDC for working quickly to confirm there are no cases of the Novel Coronavirus in our state,” said Cox. “The public should be assured that OSDH will continue monitoring and engaging the multidisciplinary coordinated response team which is formulating response plans as the situation evolves and stands ready to protect Oklahomans.”

The CDC advises the public to avoid all non-essential travel to China; and recommends people who must travel to China practice health precautions like avoiding contact with people who are sick and practicing good hand hygiene.

Health care providers are urged to obtain a detailed travel history for patients being evaluated with fever and symptoms of acute respiratory illness such as cough and shortness of breath. There is no vaccine or specific treatment. Those with the virus are being offered supportive care. More cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States.

While risk of contracting coronavius is low, by contrast, the flu virus continues to be active this time of year. As a reminder, the best protection against the flu is to get a flu shot. Prevention tips for the coronavirus are similar to those of other respiratory illnesses.

In addition to getting a flu shot, public health officials recommend the following prevention tips:

  • Frequent hand washing using soap and water, or alcohol-based products such as hand gels when hands are not visibly soiled.
  • Make respiratory hygiene a habit, using tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, then disposing of them and washing hands at once. When tissues are not readily available, cough into your sleeve, never your hands.
  • Stay home from work, school and other public places, except to get medical care or other necessities, until you have gone at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

For more information about the current outbreak in China, view the CDC update here.