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"Don't panic" Medical professionals offer advice on coronavirus

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Posted at 8:35 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 23:46:36-05

Health officials in California are now monitoring at least 8,400 people who might be infected with the coronavirus.

That comes a day after confirmation of the first possible community contamination of the COVID-19 virus in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control says it doesn't know yet how that patient contracted the virus, because they did not have a relevant travel history or exposure to another patient with the virus.

NBC Boston reports 34 people in Massachusetts are also being monitored for the coronavirus.

Governor Jared Polis discussed Colorado's preparedness Thursday afternoon.

"We've been in discussions of course with the Administration in Washington, who's kept us up to date on the risk. And of course acting quickly will be the case, should a case come to Colorado, as well as just encouraging best hygiene practices for Coloradoans," Polis said.

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, so do fears and concerns on how to protect yourself against the illness.

While the CDC says the virus is likely to spread in the United States, health experts also say there are steps you can easily take now and in the future to prepare.

First, and possibly most importantly, don't panic. While not a lot is known about this version of coronavirus, it's important not to let thefear of the unknown overwhelm you.

Stick to the basics. Things like washing your hands regularly, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze, staying home from school or work when you're sick, and drink lots of fluids are sound advice for any illness outbreak, including this one.

Don't buy unnecessary items, like surgical masks. If you're not sick you don't need to wear one, and there's certainly no need to buy every box your local pharmacy has in stock.

Be mindful of where you are, and try to keep your distance from those who are sick.

Watch what you read. There's a lot of misinformation about the virus, so it's especially important to check your sources.