MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Mecklenburg County at this point, health officials said in a press conference Friday morning, reiterating that the flu still poses the most danger to our community.
The virus likely emerged in an animal source and is not spreading in the United States as it is in China, health officials said.
“We don’t want people to be fearful. There is no evidence that that’s necessary,” say health officials.
The flu, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says has sickened 22 million and killed 12,000, still appears to be the main concern. Around 210,000 people have been hospitalized from flu.
“It is not too late to get your flu shot," health officials said Friday. "The flu season is ongoing ...Thousands of people die each year.”
78 children have died from the flu this season, and the first child under 5 died in North Carolina.
Of 75 people that died in North Carolina this season, 43 were age 65 years or older, 18 were people between the ages of 50 and 64, 12 were between 25 and 49 years old, one was between 5 and 17 years old, and then one was under age 5.
“The flu shot is the most protective way to protect against the flu," health officials repeated
People in Mecklenburg County who have returned from China are voluntarily quarantining themselves. Health officials say those that are returning did not visit China’s Wuhan province, where the virus was first identified in 2019.
“I don’t believe that wearing masks at this point is going to help," officials said for those attempting to protect themselves, as the masks have been reported to be ineffective.
Hand washing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes remain the most effective ways to keep viruses from spreading, health officials said.
Health officials say they are not sharing how many people in the community are coming back from China, as the number changes daily.
“The challenge with this virus is that we just don’t understand it yet. It’s new," health officials said of coronavirus.
Health officials urge anyone with a fever to contact their medical provider.