Stay informed of outbreaks that could affect your community. Keep these telephone numbers and web addresses handy for quick access to up-to-date information:
- Dakota County Public Health Department: 651-554-6100
- Minnesota Department of Health: 651-201-5000, www.health.state.mn.us
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. World and national health organizations, as well as the Minnesota Department of Health and Dakota County Public Health, are prepared to respond and control the spread of the disease.
Facts about COVID-19
- The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Global Public Health emergency and all travel to China is banned. Screening of travelers from China is occurring at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport.
- COVID-19 appears to be able to spread from person-to-person although it's not clear how easily this happens.
- There have been cases of COVID-19 in the United States. The current count of cases of infection can be found on the CDC's website.
- Minnesota healthcare providers have been alerted of the virus and are screening patients for signs and symptoms. All suspected virus specimens will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Health for testing.
- Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- There are simple healthy actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
If you or a loved one were in China within the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, it's important to get medical care. Call the office of your health care provider before you go and tell them about your travel and your symptoms.
More information about COVID-19
Ebola disease is not circulating in Minnesota and the risk of exposure remains extremely low. Health care providers and public health departments in Minnesota are prepared to respond and control the spread of the disease.
Facts about Ebola
- Ebola is not spread through the air, water or food.
- A person infected with Ebola virus is not contagious until symptoms appear.
- Ebola virus is spread by direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with blood or other body fluids (such as vomit, diarrhea, urine, breast milk, sweat or semen) of an infected person who currently has symptoms or who has recently died from Ebola.
- The virus can also be spread through syringes or other objects contaminated by body fluids of an infected person, such as clothing or bedding.
More information about Ebola
Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. The type of mosquito that most often carries this virus is found in Central and South America, including Mexico, Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean, as well as some areas of the southern U.S. Zika virus is not currently circulating in the U.S. but has been detected in returning travelers.
Symptoms normally start 3–7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Common symptoms include fever, joint soreness, rash or red eyes. Many people may not experience any symptoms.
Health officials are concerned about reports of microcephaly (abnormally small heads) in infants related to Zika virus infection during pregnancy. Reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome are also being investigated.
Information about Zika virus
For more information