Lafene nursing coordinator addresses coronavirus plan and prevention

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Cotton swabs and tongue compressors sit in a doctor's office at Lafene Health Center. Since the novel coronavirus outbreak, Lafene has been keeping up with CDC updates about the disease. (File photo by Katelin Woods | Collegian Media Group)

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the 15th case of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the U.S.

Abby King, nursing coordinator at Lafene Health Center, said on Thursday that the CDC says there is currently a low risk of someone getting the disease.

“They have multiple tests that are still pending,” King said. “We have multiple tests that were actually negative.”

Lafene gets notifications daily from the CDC addressing the disease.

“They give us more numbers and information about the cases in China and other countries,” King said.

She also said Lafene has been in communication with the Riley County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

“We’re working on a process,” King said. “What would it look like if we had a positive case here at Kansas State University? What are our next steps? What would the community do? What would [the] K-State community do? That sort of thing, so we’re planned and ready to go if that does occur.”

The CDC is still coming out with information on it daily, she said.

“This virus is ongoing, the research of it’s ongoing, we don’t know everything about it yet,” King said. “They’re still coming out with more information daily on what exactly it is and what the extent of it is.”

What students should be doing now, she said, is washing their hands, covering their cough with their elbow and regularly cleaning.

“We’ve had students ask, ‘Should I be wearing masks? Should I be doing this?” King said. “Really, you should be doing just everyday preventative measures in general because it’s just another virus that’s going around.”

She said that of those in the United States, the cases have not been severe or caused death, and the patients are recovering from it.

While the coronavirus disease is important, she said, King noted there have been 12,000 deaths from influenza this year.

“Realistically, influenza is booming right now, this is the season for it and people need to take precautions, and get their flu vaccine,” she said. “If they’re sick, call and schedule an appointment.”

Of the cases in the U.S., they have mostly been people returning from China.

“There was one case, because it was a husband and wife,” King said. “She came back from China and she was at home with her husband and he ended up being diagnosed also.”

If there was a case in the area, King said they would call the KDHE, who would call the CDC.

“There’s that chain of command,” she said. “They know what their next steps would be.”

To schedule an appointment with Lafene, call 785-532-6544 or go to their website.

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I'm Pete Loganbill and I'm the News Editor for the Collegian and host of the Collegian Kultivate podcast! I spent two years at Johnson County Community College, and I am now a senior in Public Relations at K-State. I believe constant communication leads to progress, no matter how difficult a comment may be for me or anyone to hear. Contact me at ploganbill@kstatecollegian.com.