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County officials briefed on communicable diseases

CASSOPOLIS — At the forefront in everyone’s mind recently, with the daily headlines of the rising numbers of those infected with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, is how to stay safe and healthy. 

To help answer those questions, Cass County elected and appointed department heads were briefed Thursday by Jeffery Elliott, administrator, Dr. Larry Wile, medical director, and Julie Beeching, director of nursing, all from the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department.

The health department works closely with area hospitals, schools, nursing homes, jails, homeless shelters and other agencies to survey, monitor and control communicable diseases within the counties. They work hand-in-hand with the CDC providing up-to-date information and educational tools to promote good health and protect the population, said officials.

While not diminishing the severity of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Elliott reminded everyone in attendance that other, more common viruses have claimed more lives than Coronavirus.

According to the CDC, 15 cases of this particular strain of the virus have been confirmed in the U.S., and one person in Cass County is under observation after returning from a recent trip.

“Last year alone, 61,000 people in the United States died of influenza,” he said. “It is very important to keep current with all vaccinations.”   

Accessing the health department’s website vbcassdhd.org will provide the most current and accurate information regarding this virus, Elliot said.

According to health department officials, staying healthy is something they want for everyone. To help with that, they recommended residents stay current with all vaccinations, wash their hands often with soap, cover coughs and sneezes with their elbows, too, if possible, stay away from those who are showing symptoms of illness, and to stay home when sick.

For more information, visit vbcassdhd.org or call (800) 210-1921.

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