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Health Officials: Coronavirus Remains Low In Oklahoma

Posted at 10:38 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 00:16:00-05

Today, Governor Kevin Stitt announced plans for Oklahoma in case of a coronavirus outbreak.

Related Story: Governor, Commissioner of Health Provides Update on Oklahoma's Coronavirus Preparedness Efforts

Coronavirus is not new, but health officials say COVID-19 is different because it was originally transmitted from animals to humans.

Currently, seven people in Oklahoma have been tested for the virus. Five have been negative and two are under investigation.

Health officials admit COVID-19 is an emerging infectious disease and there are still things to learn about it to combat it effectively.

Jessica Rice with the Tulsa Health Department says despite the learning curve, the risk of an outbreak remains low for Oklahoma.

"We want the public to know, the general risk to the population is low at this time," Rice said.

Rice says although there have been deaths related to COVID-19, the mortality rate for the flu is much higher.

There have been 18,000 flu related deaths this year and Rice says flu season is still active.

Worldwide, there are over 94,000 cases of the COVID-19 across 81 countries.

Data suggest there have been over 500 deaths from COVID-19.

Contracting the disease is depended upon how close you come in contact with it.

"It really is depended on upon your exposure to a confirmed or a suspected case as well as your travel history," said Rice.

Tulsa Health Department also says wearing a mask is really not a preventive measure and mask should only be worn if instructed by a doctor.

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