Officials: New Jersey is prepared for a potential coronavirus outbreak

Officials: New Jersey is prepared for a potential coronavirus outbreak

News12

New Jersey health officials say that there is no need to panic if a potentially deadly virus originating in China comes to the Garden State – as they are prepared for such an occurrence.

The virus has sickened hundreds in China, leading to the deaths of dozens of people in that country. At least three cases of the virus are now confirmed in France and two more have been confirmed in the United States – outside of Seattle and in Chicago.

But a potential scare in New Jersey Thursday night has health officials trying to keep the public calm. A 25-year-old Englewood woman was transferred to Hackensack University Medical Center after she experienced symptoms similar to the coronavirus. Tests showed that she was not infected with the illness.

“The actual mortality rate being reported now isn’t that high,” says Dr. Tanaya Bhowmick. “It’s about 2%-3%, which isn’t all that different from the flu.”

Bhowmick is an assistant professor of medicine, specializing in infectious diseases at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. She says that she does expect to hear about more cases of coronavirus in the U.S. But she says that New Jersey hospitals are prepared.