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Harris County Public Health officials open up on coronavirus concerns

If you've traveled to China, specifically Wuhan, in the last 14 days, or you’ve come into contact with someone who has, call your doctor.

HOUSTON, Texas — Officials with the Harris County Public Health Department met with Houston Chinese media Thursday, hoping to get the message out to not to be alarmed but to be alert about the coronavirus that has been in headlines recently.

They said the red flag you need to know about is if you recently traveled to China, specifically Wuhan in the last 14 days, or you’ve come into contact with someone who has and you’re feeling symptoms of the flu, you should call your doctor.

Officials are working closely with the Chinese community in Houston to monitor the situation.

Public Health officials want you to know, we in the U.S. are at a very low risk, but they say it’s not surprising there are already suspected cases of coronavirus because the symptoms are so similar to the flu and it’s that time of year.

“We’re also in the midst of having travelers throughout the globe that are coming into the U.S. or people from the U.S. going into China. So it's not surprising to me that you're going to have suspected cases throughout the country in some manner, the key is, is it really related to this novel coronavirus, and that’s the key message," Dr. Umair Shah said.

KHOU 11 spoke to one Houston woman who’s a member of the Chinese community in Houston. Helen Shih has a lot of family in Wuhan. She said they’re staying at home for the time being.

She also said people in Houston are canceling plans to go to China just a few days before the Chinese New Year.

“There are people who probably have changed their plans just because of this. It’s just like common sense, when you see something happen like this, for sure you will have to give more thinking for what you will do, and for sure you will have to change your way of regular living," Shih said.

Harris County Public Health officials said they have all the resources you need on their website, including a map of all the cases. Click here to visit.

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