Staying home may be key to slowing spread of coronavirus, state health official says

Channel 2?s Dave Huddleston went to a doctor?s office Thursday, where he found a sign telling people with a fever who had recently visited China to stop, turn around and go back to their cars.

DECATUR, Ga. — As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised people to prepare for coronavirus, a state health specialist told Channel 2 Action News that strategies put in place a month ago will help keep the virus to a minimum.

Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston went to a doctor’s office Thursday, where he found a sign telling people with a fever who had recently visited China to stop, turn around and go back to their cars.

"Keeping people away from each other is the way to do it,” said Dr. Cherie Drenzek, Georgia’s chief epidemiologist.

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Drenzek said that's an important step to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"If we can identify people that have compatible symptoms, we want those individuals to be isolated away from other people," Drenzek said.

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Atlanta's airport was one of the first in the country to start screening travelers who had visited China.

“We can make a risk-based decision as to whether coronavirus testing would be appropriate."

The virus spreads just like a cold or the flu --- close contact, not washing hands, and an infected person sneezing or coughing on you.

Patients at Children's Medical Group in Decatur told Huddleston that they aren't panicked, but they are concerned.

"This seems more globally hysterical. So it does make you stop and read more about it, I would say, more than just the flu,” parent Kristin Trulock said.

“If they have respiratory symptoms, if they are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms, the most important thing they can do is stay home from work, stay home from school,” Drenzek said.