Coronavirus (COVID-19)

About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Global imageThere are no confirmed cases of COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus in Louisiana.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Louisiana Office of Public Health continue to closely monitor this outbreak.

The CDC, as well as the Office of Public Health, have been proactively preparing for the introduction of this virus since it was first identified in China earlier this year. The CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of COVID-19 which began in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Today, there are confirmed human infections in China and many other countries including the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

Although there is a travel ban for all residents of Hubei Province, China, a number of countries, including the United States, are also actively screening incoming travelers who may still be traveling from Hubei Province, China due to connecting flights or extended layovers.

About Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with recent outbreaks of MERS and SARS.

Questions about Coronavirus?

If you have questions about Coronavirus, please contact the Coronavirus general information line at 1-855-523-2652 from 8 am – 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

Risk to public is low

Currently the risk to the general public is low. People with recent travel to China, or who have come in contact with someone who has recent travel and is ill, have a greater risk for becoming ill.

Reported cases have ranged from mild illness (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization. So far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions.

To minimize the risk of spread, Louisiana health officials are working with health care providers to promptly identify and evaluate any suspected cases.

Symptoms

For confirmed infections, reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms (similar to the common cold) to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

How does novel coronavirus spread?

Health experts are still learning the details about how this new coronavirus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:

  • Through respiratory droplets produced when coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes

What you can do

Anyone who recently traveled to China, who experiences fever, cough, or other acute illness should contact a health care provider as soon as possible and mention your recent travel. Please call ahead and inform the health care provider about your travel history.

It is currently flu and respiratory disease season, and flu activity is still high and expected to continue for a number of weeks. Take steps to avoid spreading germs from any respiratory diseases by:

  • Getting a flu vaccine and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
  • Covering your cough.
  • Staying home if you are sick.
  • Washing your hands.

What is the Louisiana Department of Health doing?

We are in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other local and national partners to share information.

We have sent information to health care providers around the state with current recommendations for screening and testing for COVID-19, as well as to EMS providers regarding proper protection procedures.

We are holding frequent calls with staff to remain apprised of the latest updates and we are sharing messaging with partners and the public as it becomes available.

Sharing messaging with partners and the public as it becomes available.

Information for the Public

Information for Providers

Louisiana Health Alert Network Messages