GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) The Pitt County Public Health Director, Dr. John Silvernail, released a statement on the emerging concerns of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
“I am sure many of you have been watching the coronavirus outbreak developing here in the United States and around the world,” said Dr. Silvernail. I, and the staff of the Pitt County Health Department, have been following this closely as well. I also understand that many of you are concerned about this infection and what it could mean for our community. This situation can be frightening because our experience with infections like this is limited. Please allow me to share some perspective on this infection with you.”
Dr. Silvernail recommends citizens to try to remain calm, stay healthy, practice good hygiene and postpone travel to areas affected.
“When you panic, you lose control. When you lose control you cannot help yourself or your family. Second, keep yourself healthy. If you smoke or vape stop! Smoking or vaping doesn’t make you a bad person, but it is bad for you. Furthermore, smoking and vaping irritate your respiratory system, potentially making it easier for infections to invade your body. Third, postpone travel to areas where this infection is known to be. This includes parts of the US and many places around the world. Fourth, practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently; cover your cough, and if you get sick, avoid other people so as not to spread any infection you have. Finally, if you haven’t had a flu shot, please consider getting one. Influenza is still widespread in our community and this may help you avoid getting the flu.”
Testing for COVID-19 is currently limited to individuals meeting certain guidelines.
“These testing guidelines have been established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and not by me or other local healthcare providers,” said Dr. Silvernail. As the testing becomes more widely available, these testing guidelines may change.”
“While COVID-19 has been garnering the media’s attention and rightfully so, influenza has been very busy in our community and across the nation. This flu season, we have had in excess of 18,000 influenza-related deaths in the United States alone (nearly six times the current number of deaths from COVID-19 worldwide as of this writing). Please know that I and the Staff of the Pitt County Health Department are here to support our community for the duration of this outbreak.”