University of Kentucky prepares for the coronavirus

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The coronavirus has reached a scary, new first in the United States.

Someone in California has the virus, but has no travel history or exposure from another patient.

The country and the state are preparing for an outbreak.

The University of Kentucky says it’s taking steps to prepare and hopefully limit the chances of anyone getting the disease.

“Nothing spreads faster than fear,” said Dr. Derek Forster, UK Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control.

Dr. Derek Forster says there have been reports of the coronavirus at UK or in the state.

“The immediate risk to Kentuckians is low,” said Dr. Forster.

Dr. Forster says UK Healthcare will meet with other local providers to develop their own plan. He says doctors are prepared to help more patients.

If someone here gets the disease, the patient will be monitored and evaluated for at least 14 days.

All university sponsored travel to China and South Korea is banned.

The university also says its keeping its international and study abroad students alert.

Around 1,600 international students attend UK and another 1,200 study overseas each year.

“We’ve been in constant contact with those folks and we’re also constantly communicating with the students themselves,” said Dr. Sue Roberts, University of Kentucky.

UK professionals say a mask isn’t necessary to protect yourself. They say the best things you can do is wash your hands regularly and stay home if you’re sick.

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