MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – 20 people are in self-isolation for observationfor Coronavirus in Shelby County, after traveling to higher risk areasoverseas.
So far, there’s still no confirmed cases in the Memphis area orMid-South.
Staff at the Shelby County Health Department will checkperiodically on those 20 people during their two week self-isolation to ensurethere are no medical red flags.
It’s the latest sign of the international health crisis – andlocal caution – brought on by Coronavirus.
“This epidemic has evolved very, very quickly,” Shelby CountyHealth Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter said. “When peopletraveled initially, it may not have been a concern, as they travel back, it maybe more of a concern.”
That played out for 20 people in Shelby County who recentlytraveled to areas hit the hardest by Coronavirus, an illness spread person toperson, which causes fever, cough, shortness of breath, and – at its worst – couldlead to death.
“We wouldn’t even say they have possible exposure. We wouldjust say there’s an abundance of precaution for people who traveled to certainregions and they’ve been asked to remain at home for a set period oftime,” Dr. Haushalter said.
Dr. Haushalter said while none of the 20 people showed anyCoronavirus symptoms, they’ll each spend two weeks in self-isolation, asrecommended by the Centers For Disease Control.
“This is your public health system at work,” Dr.Haushalter said.
Those with the SCHD said the self-isolation for those people isout of precaution and shouldn’t cause panic.
“People should be more concerned about the flu. We losethousands of people in the United States each year as a result of theflu,” Dr. Haushalter said. “I think we are so accustomed to it comingannually that we get complacent about that, but that’s actually more likely tocause harm, particularly in our area, than Coronavirus.”
As the death toll and confirmed cases of Coronavirus grows aroundthe world, the negative health impact is also causing an economic impact. Internationaltravel is slowed, and international conferences are canceling out of caution.
Organizers of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona canceled outof caution over Coronavirus. The illness has spread to at least 25 nations,made 60,000 people sick, and claimed more than 1300 lives to date.
“I don’t think any of us really know or will know for several weeks, perhaps, if this was an overreaction or whether this was, you know, properly playing it safe,” said Bryan Darr, the Executive Vice-President of Smart Cities at Ookla.
The CDC recommends people avoid non-essential travel to China,where the most Coronavirus cases are reported.
Memphis-based FedEx is also supplying masks, sanitizer, and wipesto those workers traveling to areas of recent Coronavirus outbreaks.