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Imperial County health officials prepare to confront coronavirus

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY)- The California Public Health Department has confirmed two cases of the coronavirus in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Karla Gomez, an Epidemiologist for the Imperial County Public Health Department, said symptoms of the virus are similar to the flu.

"So you have the headache, the fever the cough, sore throat. There can be reports of more severe symptoms including having trouble breathing."

While there is no cure or vaccine for the novel coronavirus, Gomez said the chances of residents in Imperial Valley contracting the virus are low.

Officials are asking residents to still take precautions regardless.

"So it's washing your hands frequently with water and soap. Covering up your cough and sneeze. And also cleaning the surfaces because there is some evidence that this might be also transmitted with touching surfaces that have the virus."

The Imperial County Public Health Department will continue to communicate with state and federal officials for any updates on the virus.

Gomez added, "Any confirmed cases you know throughout the state. Any new information that has come out of the new investigation of cases. So any changes that might pertain to how to treat or manage the patient."

El Centro resident, Jose Hurtado who contracted dengue fever as a child recalled the toll the virus took on the body. He's not taking any chances with the coronavirus

"Since I experience that virus, I want to be more (cautious) about this new virus, the coronavirus.  I'm planning to alert my family. Help them to be more safe," said Hurtado.

Health officials also recommended residents get their flu shots to battle other respiratory pathogens in the area.

Health / Imperial County / News

Billy Khang

Billy Khang joined KYMA in January of 2018 as a Multimedia Journalist.

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