By Greg Bird
According to the latest data available Wednesday morning Kentucky has at least 26 confirmed cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19. Of those cases one death has been attributed to the virus, but on the brighter side one patient has been reported as fully recovered.
The majority of the cases are located in Fayette, Jefferson and Harrison counties, with the remainder still in the northern Kentucky area with the exception of one case in Lyon County in the western portion of the state.
The Lake Cumberland Area Health District reported there have been no reported cases in any of its 10-county area. (McCreary, Pulaski, Wayne, Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, Taylor and Russell) During a media briefing last week LCAHD officials said there were a “handful” of individuals who may be at increased risk of having the virus in the region, and they are working to contact them and encourage them to self-quarantine until testing can be done.
State data indicates 380 tests for the virus were conducted across the commonwealth in the last week, including individuals in McCreary, Pulaski, Wayne and Whitley counties.
Tennessee is reporting 78 confirmed cases, with the majority on Davidson and Williamson counties. Knox County has 2 reported cases, Sevier County 1 and Jefferson County 1,
Nationwide there were about 6,496 confirmed cases in the U.S. with at least 114 deaths associated with the virus. There now is at least one confirmed case in every state.
The number of confirmed cases is expected to rise in the coming days, not necessarily due to increased spread of the virus, but rather to testing kits becoming more available to test suspected patients.
President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency and has requested people avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more people and to suspend all discretionary travel. He has, so far, left it up to individual states to enact restrictions on businesses and schools, with most Governors placing executive orders closing down schools, restaurants and bars and other establishments.
The CDC says patients confirmed to have the virus reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.
The CDC is recommending “common sense” measures such as: washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Finally, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Older people, and those with health problems shoudl avoid public places and consider staying in.
If you feel you may have symptoms, you are encouraged to contact your local health care provider or heath district to determine if you should be subject to testing. All tests are sent to state labs and take between 24 and 48 hours to complete.
For up-to-date information you can visit www.kycovid19.ky.gov or lcdhd.org or call the information line at 1-800-722-5725.