HAMILTON, NJ --  With the world on edge over the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes announced on Friday that the County has launched a website to keep the public aware of what they need to know about exposure to and the risk of contracting the potentially fatal illness.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of the coronavirus respiratory disease that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including a total of 53 in the United States, 39 of the patients having been repatriated from other high-risk stetting such as the Diamond Princess cruise shope that had been docked in Japan. 

Hughes also noted that the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is developing guidance and educational materials regarding the disease including respiratory hygiene education in schools. The Department advises students, faculty and staff should all be asked to follow these steps that prevent the transmission of respiratory infections:

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  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve, not your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
  • Get a flu shot

Mercer County Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), the ranking member of the House global health subcommittee, said Friday that the growing threat requires Congress to immediately and adequately provide emergency funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies already working to protect US citizens.   

“We cannot afford to underestimate the potential risk to Americans across the country,” Smith said. “We must bring to bear the full expertise, weight and resources of the federal government to help mitigate the dangers and foster real protection going forward."  

Smith recommended the CDC website for its background on the coronavirus and its guide on actions people can take to slow the spread of a pandemic virus and protect family and friends. 

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