CT to follow CDC guide on treating exposure to coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines to public health departments and officials to help determine risk levels for those potentially infected with the novel coronavirus that began spreading from Wuhan, Chinaa, in January.
The guidelines are advisory and state and local public health agencies may set higher restrictions as needed, the CDC said. “All exposures apply to the 14 days prior to assessment and recommendations apply until 14 days after the exposure event,” the CDC said.
“This is what we will follow if there are any individuals who test positive for coronavirus in” Connecticut,” state Department of Health spokesman Av Harris said in an email Tuesday.
The CDC said the interim guidance applies to potential exposure in travel-associated or community settings.
Those considered at high risk of infection are people “livng in the same household as, being an intimate partner of, or providing care in a nonhealthcare setting (such as a home) for a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection without using recommended precautions for home care and home isoltion,” the CDC said. Those diagnosed with coronavirus outside the United States who have not undergone laboratory testing also are considered at high risk, as are those who have traveled from Hubei Province, China, where Wuhan is located.
If symptomatic, these people should be placed in immediate isolation, the CDC advised .“Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order,” according to the guidelines. “Local travel is only allowed by medical transport (e.g., ambulance) or private vehicle while symptomatic person is wearing a face mask,” the CDC said.
If medical evaluation is needed, the hospital or other health-care facility where the testing will be done should be notified in advance.
If the person is not symptomatic, quarantine, either voluntary or by public health order, may be undertaken, with daily active monitoring and controlled travel.
Those considered at medium risk are people who have close contact with a person with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus who has symptoms, such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and who do not meet the high-risk definition. Also, people living in the same home as a symptomatic patient but who consistently use precautions, such as isolating the patient in a separate room, wearing masks and gloves, providing food separately, would be considered at medium risk.
A person on an airplane who is seated within 6 feet of a symptomatic passenger (approximately two seats in each direction) is also considered at medium risk, as is someone traveling from mainland China outside Hubei province who has not had high-risk exposure. Hong Kong and Macau are not considered part of mainland China.
If symptomatic, these people should follow essentially the same procedures as those at high risk, including immediate isolation, testing if warranted and advance notification to the health-care facility.
If the person has no symptoms, “To the extent possible, remain at home or in a comparable setting. Avoid congregate settings, limit public activities, and practice social distancing,” the CDC said. Travelers from mainland China outside Hubei province with no known high-risk exposure should practice “self-monitoring with public health supervision.” Others should undergo active monitoring. Postponing travel is recommended. “People who intend to travel should be advised that they might not be able to return if they become symptomatic during travel,” the CDC said.
The CDC defines low risk as “being in the same indoor environment (e.g., a classroom, a hospital waiting room)” as a person with symptoms whose disease has been confirmed in a laboratory but not being in close contact. On an aircraft, a person is at low risk if seated within two rows of a symptomatic person but at least 6 feet away (such as across the aisle).
If symptomatic, the CDC’s recommendation is to “avoid contact with others and public activities while symptomatic,” seek health advice about whether further testing is needed and to avoid public transportation while symptomatic.
For those with no symptoms, self-observation is all that is recommended.
On Friday, the Trump administration issued and order banning foreign nationals who have traveled to China in the previous 14 days from entering the United States, and quarantining U.S. citizens and family members who have been to Hubei province in the last 14 days.