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PitCo Health Officials Say 'Risk Is Extremely Low' For Contracting Novel Coronavirus

Feb 5, 2020

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically.
Credit Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Novel coronavirus, a respiratory illness, has been making headlines around the world, leading to fears about its spread. Pitkin County health officials say risk of contracting the virus is low, especially for those without a history of travel to areas where it is being spread.

“There shouldn’t be much concern from the general community about acquiring novel coronavirus in Colorado,” said Carlyn Porter, the county’s public health epidemiologist.

 

Porter added that because Aspen attracts visitors from around the globe, there is a chance that some people might be screened for the illness as a precaution, but are not likely to have the virus.

 

“We have a lot of folks that are very well traveled and we expect to see people come back from China,” Porter said. “But it’s unlikely that any of those folks were exposed in the outbreak areas.”

Even though the risk of a novel coronavirus case in Pitkin County is low, Porter said the county is keeping tabs on the virus’ spread and planning for precautions.

“It’s really, from our perspective, staying on top of the situation and understanding what our risk level is,” Porter said. “Because it could change over time, if we start to see more cases in Colorado or more cases in the United States in general.”

There are currently 11 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States as a whole and none in Colorado. Eagle County has also made a statement that it’s officials are monitoring the spread of the disease.