Local public health officials prepare if coronavirus hits Lubbock

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Concerns about coronavirus continue to grow after more than a 100 people have died. In the United States, there have been five confirmed cases, and public health officials are worried that number could grow.

“We don’t have all the answers right now, like we do with a lot of other diseases,” said Katherine Wells, Director of Public Health. “It’s definitely possible it could spread, although we don’t expect it to reach Lubbock.”

There have been coronavirus scares across the nation – including incidents from Texas A&M University and Baylor University. Both proved negative, but raised the question could the virus reach Texas.

“It has been spreading quite fast so it’s not out of the question, but because we don’t know how exactly it is transferring it is difficult to answer,” said Dr. Prakash Shrestha, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at Covenant Medical Center.

To prevent this from happening – local hospitals have been increasing the amount of screenings for the disease among their ‘flu’ patients. Likewise, the Department of Health is keeping regular contact with neighboring communities about their flu patients.

“We would just rather be safe than sorry, so we will continue to do this until the threat has passed, but it really shouldn’t happen here.” Wells said. “Unless you have had contact with a victim of the coronavirus you should be okay, and if not, then we will notify the community.”

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