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When to get tested for the Coronavirus: Local health experts weigh in

Coronavirus is responsible for at least 50 deaths since it began to spread in Wuhan, China
Posted at 7:39 PM, Jan 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 12:52:17-05

As more cases of the Coronavirus are confirmed in the United states, local health experts recommend getting tested by your doctor if you have recently traveled to Wuhan, China or have been in close contact with someone who has recently returned and are experiencing symptoms that reflect a common cold.

According to Dr. Penny E. Borenstein of San Luis Obispo County Public Health, the symptoms for the virus could be anything from a runny nose to a fever.

“What is making it concerning is that now it appears to be person-to-person spread as opposed to just animal to person spread,” said Dr. Borenstein.

She also said the department has recently asked that doctors talk with patients about their recent travel history.

“We’ve put information out to healthcare providers to keep an eye out for it, to certainly ask people about their travel history and to test if it might be this illness as opposed to influenza,” added Borenstein.

To avoid getting sick, health experts recommend washing your hands with soap frequently and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.

Terri Fosmire dropped her son off at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport Sunday morning and said she worried about him contracting the virus while traveling.

“His layover is in Denver – we were actually just talking about this yesterday and I’m very concerned about it," said Fosmire.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone who may have been exposed to the illness monitor themselves for 14 days after close contact with an infected person.

The Coronavirus is responsible for at least 50 deaths since it began to spread in Wuhan, China.

*This story has been updated to reflect not all travelers need to be tested if experiencing common cold symptoms. The health department says only those who have recently traveled to Wuhan, China or have been in close contact with someone who has recently returned from there should be tested if experiencing cold symptoms.