The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) continue to closely monitor an outbreak of respiratory illnesses caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
COVID-19 cases have now spread from China to many countries around the world. While the disease has not begun to spread in the United States, the CDC and MSDH are working to detect, contain and limit the spread of possible cases in the U.S. and Mississippi should they occur. MSDH is actively planning with doctors and hospitals on how to respond safely and effectively to any case of COVID-19 in Mississippi.
There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi.
COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus that causes flu-like illness. Like the flu virus, it is thought to be spread person-to-person by close contact (within 6 feet) and by coughing or sneezing. Other possible routes of transmission, such as touching surfaces contaminated by the virus, are also being investigated.
Like the flu, COVID-19 can cause illness that ranges from mild to severe, with symptoms of fever, coughing, fatigue and difficulty breathing.
Protection against COVID-19 is the same as protection from other respiratory viruses like the flu. To prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory viruses, practice protective hygiene: Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home if you're sick, and avoid close contact those who are sick. And get a flu vaccination each year to reduce your risk of illness.
Who Is at Risk
Currently, only those who have recently traveled to countries where there is sustained person-to-person transmission of COVID-19, or who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 are considered at risk of infection.
- If you have traveled to China or another affected area within 14 days and develop a fever and symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional. Mention your recent travel.
- If you have had close contact with anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 infection and you develop the symptoms above, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional. Mention your close contact and their recent travel.
What MSDH Is Doing
The Mississippi State Department of Health is aggressively responding to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. With other state agencies, it has activated emergency operations in order to prepare for possible person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in Mississippi.
Other steps that MSDH is taking include:
- Increasing surveillance (monitoring) activities to identify cases of COVID-19 as quickly as possible and to limit person-to-person transmission.
- Working with hospitals and healthcare providers across the state to plan for possible cases of COVID-19, preparing them to identify and safely treat cases.
- Assessing statewide hospital capacities, and ensuring that the MSDH Public Health Laboratory has the ability and capacity for any COVID-19 testing that may be necessary.
- Providing guidance to business, education and other entities on how to respond to the possible spread of COVID-19 in the community.
We also continue to update the public on COVID-19 as the situation changes.
COVID-19 in the U.S. and Mississippi
A number of cases of COVID-19 have been identified in U.S. states, but there is no ongoing sustained transmission within the U.S.
The risk of infection to the Mississippi public continues to be low. To date, there are no cases in Mississippi and no suspects under investigation for potential infection.
- Mississippi confirmed cases: 0
- Mississippi people under investigation (PUI): 0
More Information on U.S. Cases
Information for Specific Groups
In the Community
Travelers Overseas: The CDC has issued Travel Warnings recommending the postponement or avoidance to countries where COVID-19 is being actively transmitted. The U.S. Department of State has also issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory to China.
Travelers returning to the U.S.: Steps to protect health are being taken nationally for travelers returning from parts of the world affected by COVID-19, including health screenings on entry into the U.S..