NC Health officials monitoring coronavirus, say flu is bigger threat

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Fear, nationwide, is rising as more cases of the coronavirus are confirmed in the United States.

Mecklenburg County health officials stated during a Friday press conference that there are no confirmed cases in the state. In fact, they said the risk to the local public is low. 

“The numbers are small [in the United States] and we are working to keep it that way,” said Gibbie Harris, the Mecklenburg County Public Health Director.

County health leaders said people in the area have a higher risk of contracting the flu and should get the flu shot.

“We do recognize the coronavirus is an emerging issue,” Harris said. “But we don’t want people to be fearful, we don’t think that’s necessary.”

Harris said county health leaders are monitoring people who have recently visited China and returned to Mecklenburg County. Due to privacy reasons, officials won’t go into specifics of how many people they are keeping an eye on. However, those who are being monitored are undergoing voluntary home quarantines and checking in, daily, with health officials.

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