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Lambton Public Health monitoring Coronavirus outbreak

Lambton Public Health said Monday it's conducting surveillance locally and monitoring for Wuhan Novel Coronavirus.

In a community update, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade said steps are being taken to ensure residents are protected.

He said the health unit performs three main functions.

"The first is to really keep tabs on the situation and what's going on, so it's assessing and surveying what's happening in other communities, including all around the world," said Ranade. "The second piece is to work with health system partners to understand how prepared we are locally to deal with this, and the third part is to provide information and advice to residents and also our organizational partners about what they can do to protect themselves."

Dr. Ranade said there are no specific recommendations for the public at this time.

"So right now there is nothing specific anyone has to do regarding the Novel Coronavirus, there's no particular recommendations for the whole community, but because it's flu season, the same kinds of things that can protect you from influenza can also help keep you protected from things like the Novel Coronavirus. So washing your hands very frequently through the season, staying away from other people when you're sick and staying away from other people who are sick if you can, making sure your immunizations are up to date, especially the flu shot, and also practicing really good coughing and sneezing etiquette."

Dr. Ranade said there have been some deaths in China where the outbreak originated but it's believed that those have been largely in people who had other conditions that would predispose them to get sicker.

"Just like influenza, the range, you can be sort of mildly sick with it or it can be a severe illness, it's the same thing with the Coronavirus," he said.

As with other flu seasons, people with worsening respiratory symptoms are advised to contact their health care provider.

Lambton Public Health said it will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as things change.

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